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.

—End Interview—

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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Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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14 Responses to Exclusive Interview – CEO Reveals Thoughts on Executive Bonuses

  • jo

    This has got to be an April Fool’s Day gag a day late, right!? Is this guy for real?!

    I cannot believe that anyone has the arrogance to announce that they own a “modest home” bought at “just under $2million”!

    So out of touch, it’s reminiscent of Tsarist Russia and pre-revolutionary France!

    Beam me up, Scotty. Please.

  • marci

    Good joke, but unfortunately, too close to the truth to be funny :)

  • Ben

    April Fools :)

  • Olivia

    I sure hope this is a joke. The problem is, joke or not, there really are people out there like this. It is just ridiculous. I can’t stand it when rich people don’t recognize how blessed they are. I think if you work hard and become wealthy, then that is great. However, once you are wealthy you need to recognize just how blessed you are and make sure you don’t let everything become about the money. Someone who is scared that he might have to sell his private jet would be way on the “money is everything to me” side.

  • kush

    This must be JOKE right? All the names are from the NBC’s Office show (i had to google to find out since i don’t watch that show) but if its for real and the names are just changed somebody SLAP this guy!!!

  • Amphritrite

    “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.”

    So….basically…. You don’t know WHAT you do and you can’t explain it to the average person. AWESOME! I just LOVE buzzwords. Sell your effing extra properties, use the proceeds to pay off your overly-expensive house, and downsize with the rest of us, Mr. CEO. I don’t want to effing pay your bonus just because “OMG WHINE” you just can’t survive with half a million dollars.

    I can’t live without half a million dollars either! Where’s my bonus? Where’s my bailout? Oh yeah, that’s right. I actually took a PAYCUT to help my company survive. Now I’m living on .5million divided by 12… oh yeah, and that’s yearly. If we can do it, Mr. CEO, you can too. Get with the program.

  • Michele

    I am weeping over his house that is just $2 million, his condo in Miami and his vacation home in Vail.

    Somebody pass the tissue!

  • Rebecca

    Ahaha, you totally had me until Dunder-Mifflin!

  • the weakonomist

    I try to put myself in the shoes of my poorer employees, but their shoes are so cheap it’s just too uncomfortable.

    We should burn down dunder mifflin.

  • Olivia

    Wow! I mean, WOW! I can’t even believe this guy! First of all, he thinks he deserves gobs and gobs of money because of his genius decisions and all of the *burdens* he bears. Well, I hate to break it to him, but ask the majority of employees whether or not they have to bear great burdens in their jobs. I am pretty sure most of them would agree that they do. Even worse, though, he *can’t* give back his bonus money because he needs to pay off his condo in Miami and his vacation home in Vail????? Are you serious? He has a $2 million dollar home! Most people could never even dream of owning a house that nice, let alone owning two more houses on top of that! And he thinks $2 million dollars is a modest price. . . HA! Oh, and God forbid he has to give up his private jet! The horror! This guy seriously needs a reality check and a long look in the mirror. I have nothing against working hard to achieve wealth, but don’t pretend like you are in a rough financial position when you clearly are not. Don’t say you are putting yourself in their shoes when your version of “their shoes” is selling your private jet. Imagine losing your home. Imagine having no job at all. Imagine wondering how you are going to feed and clothe your family. If you ask me, this guy deserves no bonus at all.

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