Once hailed as one of Wall Street's great heroes, Fuld's legacy is likely going to be one of a villain. Fuld is known for his tough as nails, take no prisoners, top down managerial style. Unlike many of the Wall Street investment banks Fuld's personality as a result of his style and persona defined his firm (much like Steve Jobs does for Apple). Thus Lehman's successes or failures are largely perceived by many on the street as a result of Fuld's decisions.
Fuld first won major accolades for bringing Lehman Brothers,one of wall street's oldest and most prestigious companies, back from the brink and back to independence from American Express in 1994. He has held his position ever since, helping the firm weather major financial storms such as the Asian Financial Crisis of 1998 and the September 11th Terrorist attacks
Lehamn Brothers however would not survive the the credit crisis of 2008. On September 15th 2008 Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Much of the blame in the post fallout has been laid squarely on Fuld. His managerial style and persona have made him an attractive scapegoat for a public angry for someone to blame. How much of Lehman's collapse is Fuld's responsibility remains to be seen. It is notable that Lehman's thus far is the only investment bank to go completely under. Fuld's decision after the Bear Stearns collapse to continue to either get a very good deal for Lehman's or go it alone appears to have been a poor one.
Lehman's bankruptcy is ongoing and more clear details will likely emerge in the coming weeks, months and years.