by Patricia Sellers
Erin Callan is Wall Street's Greta Garbo.
After Lehman Brothers (BCS) fired her as chief financial officer in June 2008 -- four months before the firm filed Chapter 11 -- Callan fled to her home in the Hamptons. She's been holed up in Long Island's affluent beach enclave for the past two years. Former colleagues and friends say she's incommunicado, and she's refused to speak to the press.
Until today. After a piece called "Inside Erin Callan's Hamptons Hideaway" popped up on CNBC.com, I called Callan on her cell phone. She answered.
"I'm living a different life," she said, after declaring that she did not want to talk.
We chatted for four minutes, mainly about last year's Fortune story, "The fall of a Wall Street highflier," in which I chronicled her controversial rise, her career collapse, and her escape to this "different life" that involves a boyfriend named Anthony Montella, who went to her high school and grew up to be a firefighter.
"On the whole, it was fair," Callan, 45, said about the profile (in which she refused to cooperate). "I'm not ready to talk," she said today. "And I don't know if I ever will be ready to step out into public view."
Anonymity has its appeal when you're a target of multiple investigations into the history's biggest bankruptcy. Callan is named in a lawsuit filed by California Public Employees' Retirement System two weeks ago. The giant pension fund known as CALPERS charges Callan, former Lehman CEO Dick Fuld and other executives and directors with making false statements in the months leading up to the Wall Street giant's failure.
Callan wouldn't comment on the fraud allegations that still swirl around her. As we closed the conversation, I wished her well. "Anthony wishes you well too," she replied.
by Patricia Sellers
The latest on the probes into Lehman Brothers (BCS): Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino reports that the House Financial Services Committee is weighing the idea of calling short seller David Einhorn as a public witness or to a private meeting to talk about accounting gimmickry that led to Lehman's bankruptcy. I reached Einhorn's spokesman, who declines to comment.
Whether or not Einhorn, who was Lehman's biggest and loudest MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 24, 2010 10:26 AM ET
by Patricia Sellers
I'm back from Brazil. Looking forward to filling you in on my whirlwind adventure, where I saw a booming middle-class and lots of opportunity.
But right now, a catch-up on well-known women who moved up and down and over while I was away. Christiane Amanpour's leap to ABC News is big. For perspective, last year at a Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner in New York, Amanpour gave a tribute MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 22, 2010 1:22 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
"The fall of a Wall Street highflier," in the latest issue of Fortune, portrays Erin Callan as a star banker at Lehman Brothers who is catapulted to CFO, finds herself in a maelstrom, and flames out--all the while maintaining a fierce determination to perform for her bosses.
Ever since Lehman (BCS) died in September 2008, one key question has been: Was Callan so eager to please CEO Dick MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 12, 2010 5:20 PM ET
"Whatever happened to Erin Callan?" has been a Wall Street mystery ever since early last year, when she walked out of her post-Lehman place of employment, Credit Suisse (CS). Callan cut off contact with practically everyone she knew. Rumors abounded about her fate.
I found her. Well, at least I found out what the former CFO of Lehman Brothers (BCS) is doing now. (It's fascinating and not exactly tragic.) To learn MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 8, 2010 3:25 PM ET
"If you buy a railroad, you can't move it to China or to India or anyplace else. You are betting on the United States. I can't think of a surer bet."
- Warren Buffett, explaining Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKB) $44 billion buyout of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI).
Click here to see Buffett talking about his biggest deal ever with CNNMoney anchor Poppy Harlow.
While the size was a surprise, the bet on America MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 4, 2009 6:56 PM ET
Another Fortune Most Powerful Woman -- a longtime member of our annual Power 50 list -- is leaving the corporate world. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who was Genentech's (DNA) president of product development, is heading to the University of California San Francisco as chancellor.
Desmond-Hellmann's departure from business's upper echelons (She ranked No. 13 on Fortune's 2008 Power 50 list) adds to the trend of top women execs leaving corporations and deciding not MOREPatricia Sellers - May 1, 2009 3:41 PM ET
We took a day off! After producing three issues of Fortune back to back -- three in three weeks -- Andy Serwer gave us a free Friday. (Thank you, boss!)
What a day to be out of the office. Perfect sunny, blue-sky day in New York, temp in the mid-70s. I had a lunch scheduled and decided not to cancel it.
I'm glad I didn't. It was a fun and fascinating lunch with Hannah Burns, MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 24, 2009 10:03 PM ET
This was a week of extreme behavior. From embarrassment to enlightenment. We learned that John Thain, ousted by Bank of America (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis, redecorated his Merrill Lynch office at a cost of more than $1.2 million. People who worked with Thain pre-Merrill tell me that he was not a really extravagant guy. But he was, at times, clueless.
Three people who worked with Thain at the New York Stock MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 30, 2009 8:03 PM ET
This was a week of transitions. Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton. A little-known Congresswoman named Kirsten Gillibrand, who beat Caroline Kennedy for Hillary's Senate seat and reminded us that power and privilege don't mix well these days.
John Thain's ouster at Bank of America (BAC) also reminded us of that. I met the former Merrill Lynch boss briefly only three times. He seemed like Clark Kent: solid, a bit boring, and cryptic. MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 23, 2009 4:41 PM ET
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