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GREENE’S GONESKI

13-Year NARAS President’s Resignation Has People Guessing What’s Next
So where’s the smoking gun?

Although he was publicly cleared of specific sexual harassment allegations, the Mike Greene endgame has industryites hypothesizing overtime as to the real reason he walked. Information contained in the top-secret Palladino report is said to have forced the NARAS board to approve a settlement rather than attempt to fire Greene for cause and risk public airing of the report’s contents. Why?

Theories range from Greene’s attempts to impede investigations to his history of complex personal relationships within the organization he led, as well as alleged improprieties within NARAS’ charitable organizations. Whatever the case, insiders insisting the report showed Greene was putting NARAS in harm’s way by pushing its legal exposure beyond tolerable limits.

Access to the report has been so tightly controlled that Chairman Garth Fundis was one of only five—and the only NARAS trustee—to see the whole thing. In the end, behind-the-scenes players including Joel Katz and Chuck Ortner were able to finesse a dignified exit with Greene rep Don Passman—Greene walks with $8 million and his name officially intact—though some trustees are reportedly upset at having the investigation’s more damning findings kept from them.

Meanwhile, many label execs are breathing a collective sigh of relief at the controversial exec’s exit, with one NARAS insider noting bluntly that Greene "didn’t manage well up or down." That said, a NARAS search committee will be looking for a replacement willing to keep a lower profile—and accept a smaller piece of the Grammy cake. Those close to the hubbub say some consensus-building among trustees has already begun in favor of Zomba’s Neil Portnow.

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