I've worked at a lot of corporations, always as a worker bee and never an executive who knows about the workings of business and how to make profits. So I never understood how, at all those big company-wide meetings we'd have twice a year, the CEO would stand at the podium and announce that the company was doing so well! We are growing! We're due to make a profit!
And then next week, 50 people would get laid off. And then the next week, 100. If we're making so much money, why are you taking away our jobs? Where is all that profit going?
Now I can sort of account for why some profitable companies still have to downsize: So the CEO can continue to enjoy his high-paying salary.
News out today that will aggravate the heck out of you and give you something to complain about at the water cooler tomorrow: CEOs who laid off the most people bring home a paycheck significantly higher than that of their peers who did not lay off as many people, reports Reuters.
A big report came out yesterday that the guys (I'm sure there's some women in there, but not many) who laid off the most workers between November 2008 and April 2010 were paid an average of $12 million in 2009. Yep, more than most of us will make in a lifetime, these guys make in one year.
More power to 'em if it's hard-earned and backed by sound business decisions, but not when they are doing it to line their own pockets. I'm sorry but how many BMWs does one person really need?
The funny thing about this study for us little people is the scope of it all. When you make $12 million a year (which is a base, I'm sure, not even including bonuses and options), what's one or two million less to save dozens or even hundreds of jobs?
I'm pro-business. I think a lot of the tactics of the Obama Administration against business and banking are unfair and jeopardize our free-market economy. I'm all for people going into a job and trying to make as much money as they can -- and they are not beholden to "share" it with others.
But something seems drastically skewed here, and these CEOs have some serious explaining to do or I think there's going to be a mutiny.
Image via ricardodiaz11/Flickr