Exclusive Interview – CEO Reveals Thoughts on Executive Bonuses
April 1, 2009
After my CEO’s are crooks post, I was contacted by one of the executives that had received a huge bonus while their company was in financial trouble. I won’t mention the name of the corporation so I don’t get sued but he was writing to defend his actions and the work that he does. I sent him a few questions to give him a chance to explain himself, I think you’ll be interested in his answers.
Help me understand, what is it you do that makes you worth a salary of millions of dollars a year?
I create synergistic solutions to help our company compete by integrating and leveraging our core competencies. Our employees don’t know how to make our company the best in the business, so I set the strategic vision and work with our CEO, Michael Scott, to make us the best of breed. It’s not just that I work 70 hours a week, it’s the important decisions I make and the burdens I bear that make me valuable to the company and worth a large salary.
Why aren’t you giving back your half million dollar bonus?
First off, I’m legally owed the bonus as part of my contract. Secondly, I’m no different than any other responsible person else who budgets out their expenses in advance. I had factored that money into our budget and without it I wouldn’t be able to pay our bills. Unlike some executives that have enormous mortgage payments we own one of the more modest homes in our neighborhood in Scranton. Most of the houses run around $3-4 million and we were able to find one we liked for just under $2 million. My bonus is committed to our house payment, paying off our condo in Miami, and our vacation home in Vail; so I can’t give it back.
What do you think of the government plan to heavily tax the bonuses?
I can’t say much about it other than we have really good tax attorneys.
What do you have to say to all the people that work at your company who have lost their job because of your actions?
I do feel badly, I try and put myself in their shoes. I know if I lost my job we’d have to make some major financial changes, such as taking our kids out of private school, selling our personal jet, and cutting way back on vacations. I know that would be rough so I feel for the unemployed people. Most people don’t know this but our parent company, Dunder Mifflin, is trying to find work in the paper industry for everyone that lost their jobs so hopefully that will help.
How do you plan to pay back all the federal bailout money your company has recieved?
Our Assistant to the Regional Manager, D. Schrute, has been working with our sales team to come up with a plan to pay back the money through increased sales. I can’t release the details of the plan yet because it’s not finalized but it will help us repay our debt. I will retire long before the debt is paid back but I’m confident our top sales people, led by the young and ambitious J. Halpert, will work hard to pay it off.
I couldn’t believe the answers this guy gave, some of them were so insensitive that I almost didn’t publish it. He certainly comes across as a real jerk.
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