A new executive office for Al Gore

Maybe it’s not quite as cool as being the leader of the free world, but Al Gore’s new job is pretty impressive for a fella just starting out in the private sector.

Last month almost-president Gore signed on as vice chairman of Metropolitan West Financial, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with $50 billion in assets. His mandate is to help the company expand internationally and to develop a venture capital fund focused on biotech and information technology. Will the former vice president turn out to be more than just a MetWest marketing gimmick? Well, Gore’s résumé includes journalism but no experience analyzing investments. And Gore has little time to spare: He’ll continue to teach part-time at UCLA and two Tennessee universities, and he plans to write a book about families with his wife, Tipper. Then there’s the still-undecided issue of whether he’ll decide to run again for president. MetWest CEO Richard Hollander, however, isn’t bothered by Gore’s hectic schedule. “There’s always an aura about him, and that’s real positive for us,” says Hollander, a registered Republican. “We expect great things from him.”