Friday, August 17, 2007

Executive Perks: The Rich Get Richer

When I sit and watch the incredibly ridiculous decisions that are made at my company I always get pissed off thinking how our Executives are grossly overpaid. Every Friday when I receive my paycheck I get a reminder of how shitty my pay is compared to theirs. I then get another reminder at performance review time when I get a shitty increase. I also get daily reminders when I watch them go out for lunch everyday, driving off in their high end, luxury vehicles.

As I was reading through some articles online the other day I received another reminder of how underpaid I am and how overpaid they (Executives) are. I found a few articles on Executive pay and this new concept of lavish CEO perks. You see, it seems that getting paid millions of dollars a year is not enough for most executives. They need more, which is why many executives today are now getting paid perks like monthly housing allowances and health club dues, just to name a few.

Michelle Leder of, a website which tracks executive compensation packages says “It's crazy. These are not people making insignificant amounts of money and I don't see a stop to it.”

The theory that the rich get richer is alive and well at my company and many other companies around the world. So when you are busting your ass out there for peanuts, just remind yourself that your Executives are probably not only getting big bucks, but they are also getting lavish perks paid for by the company. Also remind yourself that these big shot perks are for things that you and I either can’t afford or have to pay for out of our own pockets (like a mortgage, meals, etc). If this isn’t incentive to be a Turtle at Work I don’t know what is! You can either stick your neck out for your company and help increase the salary and perks for your executives, or you can turtle along. Either way, your going to get screwed, so you might as well do less. That's the Way of the Turtle.

Executive Perks Listing (Source: USA TODAY)

Imagine that the folks who work for the below companies now know about the below perks their big shots get. Can you say morale killer?

  • Tyson Foods: CEO John Tyson received $457,780 in perks, including $265,875 to cover taxes, $324,472 for personal use of corporate aircraft and $56,867 for insurance premiums.

  • Morgan Stanley: The company gave ex-CEO Philip Purcell $52 million in severance, including $115,000 annually in lifetime administrative support and $250,000 a year to his favorite charities.

  • American Express: CEO Ken Chenault, paid $16.3 million in salary, bonus and stock, received $294,450 worth of personal aircraft use, $163,500 in "local" travel benefits and $77,300 for taxes. Like many CEOs with supplemental pensions, he also got $1.1 million in interest on deferred compensation.

  • Cendant: CEO Henry Silverman, who pulled in $133 million from salary, bonus and stock options, received $49,388 for aircraft use and $49,986 for cars and drivers.

  • Corning: The company paid Chairman James Houghton $4,050 for the nine nights he stayed at his New York apartment in lieu of company-paid hotels. He received $7.4 million in salary, bonus, stock and other compensation, and gained $1.7 million from options.

  • Capital One Financial: The company spent $123,000 for CEO Richard Fairbank's personal financial services, security and car expenses. He made $249.3 million exercising stock options.

  • Time Warner: The company provided CEO Richard Parsons $100,000 for financial services, $321,127 for travel expenses and $52,800 to rent a Los Angeles apartment. Parsons got $12.2 million in pay and stock.

  • Raymond James Financial: The company covered insurance and pay for three staffers who serve as curators for CEO Thomas James ' 1,500 piece art collection at company headquarters. Cost: about $190,000.

  • Cabela's: The sporting goods retailer bought back $18,650 in unused vacation time from CEO Dennis Highby, paid $2.3 million.

  • Sara Lee: The company paid $53,256 for a surgical procedure not covered by former CEO Steve McMillan 's health plan, saying it "significantly shortened" his recovery. McMillan, who retired in February 2005, received $6.5 million in compensation. On July 1, he'll start collecting $6 million in "salary continuation" payments.
    The company gave division President Lee Chaden $35,000 for club dues, $18,483 for financial services and a $600,000 "renovation allowance" for his North Carolina home.

  • Cadence Design: The company upped its monthly housing allowance to CEO Michael Fister 240% to $17,000. That's on top of $3 million in compensation and options valued at up to $23 million.


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