Packing the Parachutes

For serious, who didn’t think this would happen at some point?

The Duke board voted for Johnson’s resignation, and since Johnson was eligible for severance if he quit for “good reason,” he is able to collect his $44 million. Grist calculates that Johnson’s pay package comes out to $5.5 million per hour, if he actually put in a full 8-hour day.

I’m asking. Because if you told me I would get a squillion dollars for fucking up my job and/or just walking away, like you would have to pay me in order to fire me, I would get fired so fast my head would spin. I hear all the arguments about how we have to pay CEOs these insane salaries and provide these packages to give them this sense of security so that they’ll work hard, and all I can think of is that they should maybe learn about what it is to work hard for the same reason most people do: To keep from starving and living in a box.

I mean it. I love my work, love it, but if you assured me my present income with reasonable increases for the rest of my life there would be pretty even money I’d spend a lot of time on my back porch, pleasantly drunk and playing with the neighbor’s dog. I’m sure I’d get bored eventually, but the motivation to get my ass out of bed every day would be significantly lessened.

(Also I would like to print this story out, roll it up and shove it up the ass of the next person who jaws on at a party about how government benefits remove the incentive to look for work. What the fuck does stuff like THIS do, then?)

There is actually a way to design incentive packages for CEOs that are still nice enough to attract decent people (I will run your company, which is basically about taking people to dinner, for a mere $8 million, for example) but don’t have built-in Douchebag Trap Doors that drop the boss down into a giant pile of money. Trouble is, we’ve gotten into this thing where nothing’s too good for the masters of the universe, and nothing’s too outrageous for us to swallow.

A.

9 thoughts on “Packing the Parachutes

  1. FeralLiberal says:

    “I hear all the arguments about how we have to pay CEOs these insane salaries and provide these packages to give them this sense of security so that they’ll work hard”
    Yet school teachers should do their job for minimum wage and the love of teaching. Assholes.

  2. PWL says:

    Jay in Oregon: yer right. Take a look at Carly Fiorina: a fine example of failing upward.
    And to think she could have been our next Senator…

  3. Jay in Oregon says:

    PWL:
    It looks to me like a bait-and-switch to get regulatory approval of the merger.
    Once the merger went through, they replaced the CEO with the person they wanted.
    Regardless of whether or not the CEO went along with the plan, he got $44 million out of it. And it’s been demonstrated repeatedly that being a fuckup CEO doesn’t actually hurt future employment opportunities. I’m not shedding tears for him, at all.

  4. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    “I wonder if that could be considered grounds for firing — with cause — the entire Duke board. After all, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders.”
    How touchingly innocent, to think that company boards are working for anyone but themselves and chosen cronies.
    True, the shareholders are usually the last in line for screwing, after employees and customers.

  5. Gospodin Dangling-Participle says:

    Hey, I’d be glad to cash in too, but it doesn’t look like that’s exactly what happened here. Duke sold the merger with Progress by saying “the Progress guy will be CEO, and our guy will just be Chairman of the Board.” They cleared all the regulatory and shareholder hurdles while sticking to that story.
    The minute that the deal closed, Duke’s Board had a meeting and forced out the Progress guy, installing the Duke guy in his place. The tens of millions of dollars would appear to be to keep him from filing a lawsuit, or even complaining.
    But Duke totally didn’t plan it this way! “The decision was not made until it was made”! …No, seriously. As Dave Barry says, I Am Not Making This Up:http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/07/11/3374147/rogers-duke-energy-board-lost.html

  6. PWL says:

    If anything shows that “free-market” capitalism has gone over the edge in this country, this does. Here’s someone who was paid a boatload of money for literally having done nothing to earn it.

  7. MichaelF says:

    Imagine the savings if they’d only offshored the CEO-for-a-day position to India.
    I wonder if that could be considered grounds for firing — with cause — the entire Duke board. After all, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders.

  8. pansypoo says:

    no more parachutes. they should get what the lowest rung gets.

  9. mass says:

    What is hillarious and sad is the amounts of money we’re talking about here. Maybe it’s the round-the-clock horseshit we see on the teevee, where untalented, uneducated clowns like Snooki and Bristol and The Situation pull in huge amount of money for shameless exploitation of their ignorant lives.
    And from a conversation at happy hour yesterday, I was discussing what kind of a deal the Saints should put together to keep Drew Brees, and here we are talking tens of millions of dollars like a million here a millionthere is nothing! (Bress is worth every penny!)
    Then, all day yesterday the conversation is about increasing the income tax rate by about 4 percent on income above $250,000 a year.
    Hey, $250,000 is a shit load of money. It won’t go as far in New York City as it will in DesMoines, Iowa, but if your banking a quarter-mill a year, you are doing fine.
    The VAST majority of Americans make far less than that. Unless oil is discovered in my back yard, or I hit the Power Ball, I’ll never make that much money. I don’t invent things. I don’t own a business that could boom. I don’t act, write or make movies. I’m not a doctor, lawyer or bankster. Nevertheless, I work hard for the good living I earn, but if I continue what I for 20 more years, my annual income will never approach even $150,000 a year.
    And, yet, I hear working/middle-class people making less than ME bitching about the highest marginal tax rate getting bumped up by 4 percent because, I guess, they don’t want to be taxed that much when they start making major bank as a fucking as a car mechanic or Applebees manager. Idiots.

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