When did Mitt Romney really leave Bain Capital? Was it in 1999 — or was he the de facto, hands-on boss for years after? The Obama campaign and the Boston Globe would have voters believe Romney continued to run things even as he saved the 2002 Winter Olympics. And if Romney was no longer actively involved after 1999, then he misled Bain investors as to his minimal and passive role — a possibly felony, Team Obama and the Globe loosely suggest.
Then there is this fascinating account in the book The Real Romney — written by two Boston Globe reporters — of what happened in 1999 when Romney told his colleagues at Bain he was leaving the firm:
His departure from Bain Capital, though, was not so neat. The partners squabbled over how the firm would operate without him. A power struggle ensued. Several partners made plans to leave. Suddenly a company that relied on loyalty, long-term relationships, and Romney’s personal courtship of investors seemed to be at risk. …
Romney grew worried that the company he had worked so hard to build would be destroyed. The anxiety escalated until finally, one Sunday afternoon, Romney and one of his fellow Mormons at Bain, Bob Gay, knelt on the floor together and prayed for its survival. “We were facing a crucial event that threatened the very existence of our partnership,” Gay said later. In the end, the crisis abated. Romney left the firm, retaining a financial interest in it, and Bain Capital continued to thrive.
That sure sounds like the folks at Bain saw Romney’s exit as being clean break.