My position is that if most people screw up in a job, they are put on the street with a pittance. This does not happen to executives.
Someone who screws up enough to loose their job has screwed up- I don't understand how getting a "pittance" is relevant. CEOs are valuable enough that they negotiate seperation clauses - they are not trivially replaceable, and they take a risk by going to the company. If the board changes its mind, they've earned thir parachutte.
Going back to the Apple example, look at the series of CEOs who preceeded Jobs. One could even argue that a number of them didn't screw up-- they just didn't rectify the problems fast enough.
By the way, you provided the example, I showed how wrong it is. That doesn't represent lack of strength in my position! Someone who mismanages their money, deserves what they get. Your assertion that this attitude is somehow bad, only makes sense if you think people deserve something for nothing- the mugging I was talking about.
Most CEO's of large companies (they were to whom I was referring, incidentally) do NOT have a personal stake in the company (i.e. will not be bankrupted if the company expires), serve as a figurehead for the rest of the corporation (where the actual work gets done), and receive massive compensation for failing.
The really ironic statement is that you could make it in defense of an argument who's topic is CEOs who *DO* have a personal stake in the company. That's where the $100M in compensation comes from, its not salary.
That you think the "Actual work" is done by others, and not the CEO (and we can assume managmenet) simply shows you have no clue how companies work, what it takes to run them, etc.
Of course if you see no value in the works someone does, you're going to think they're overpaid... But the fact of the matter is you are wrong. Only a bullheaded denial of obvious and easily observable reality could let you think that CEOs get big pay for doing nothing.
It's a shell game, and everyone who is not an executive loses.
(Now lets notice that at one point you say CEOs have no stake, then you say between them and the board they controll all the stock. Hmmm. An arugment that isn't even internally consistant shouldn't deserve my time invested in response.)
The above is spoken like someone who wants to be poor all your life.
Feel free to think its a shell game and sit it out... meanwhile, the rest of us are doing quite well.
You can easily prove yourself wrong, if you maintain the fantasy that you're objective. Just go to Yahoo and look at the pages for some big company and see how much of the ownership is insider ownership.
Now, note that you said "large corporations" so those are the examples I'm going to give:
Intel - %7
This means that the "CEO and board of directors" you talk about in this shell game own *less* than %7 of the stock. That isn't a controlling interst at all. Remember, also, that employees are insiders, so a tech company like intel would have vested a lot of its "insider" stock in employees... so maybe this "Cabal" of old boys that you think own it all, own less than %5. you could check their annual report to get a breakdown. (http://biz.yahoo.com/p/i/intc.html)
Apple: Also %7 http://biz.yahoo.com/p/A/AAPL.html
Cisco: %2 http://biz.yahoo.com/p/C/CSCO.html
Microsoft: %17, in large part because Bill Gates, its effective CEO, still owns a lot. http://biz.yahoo.com/p/C/CSCO.html
Ok, so your basic case has been easily disproven. How is it that so many of you can continue to propagate these blatently false and easily disproven conspiracy theories?
CEOs are answerable to shareholders by the board. Shareholders are usually thousands of individuals and institutions- who in turn represent even more thousands of indivuduals.
If they didn't have shareholders interests at heart, and act like it, they would loose out.
And its worth repeating, YET AGAIN, that all this "excessive pay" to CEOs is from their ownship of stock options-- no performance, no pay.
Nobody owes anyone a job. You waste your money, as the average american does, you deserve what you get.
Crying about it will get no sympathy from those of ability.
Between 1982 and 1988 US Income tax revenues doubled from approx. $500 Billion to $1 trillion due to Reagans tax cuts.
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