Paying Them to Fail

I ask you, what incentive do these people have to work if we continue to pay them to be screw-ups?

Tribune Publishing Co. LLC’s new CEO, Jack Griffin, may earn as much as $3.5 million annually, and could be owed $2 million if he exits after a sale of the company.

Mr. Griffin is slated to earn a $1 million salary, a potential bonus of the same amount, and a $1.5 million stock award each year, according to an employment agreement that parent Tribune Co. filed on April 11 with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of its preparation for a spinoff of its publishing business. That transaction is expected by midyear.

He could get $2 million if the business is sold and he doesn’t stay with the company, or if he leaves within 12 months of the closing of a sale, according to the agreement dated March 3. A $2 million “cash severance” is also possible if he’s fired or quits. Mr. Griffin, formerly the CEO of Time Inc., was appointed to lead the Tribune publishing company last month.

So if he stays he gets $2.5 million a year, and if he quits or gets shitcanned, he gets $2 million? I can tell how you fast I’d get fired if I basically got paid if I got fired, and it would be FAST. Sit in a hammock in Jamaica and have people bring me pineapple daquiris while still collecting basically my salary? Hell yeah, son.

These severances, these “exit packages,” reward failure as much as they encourage risk-taking, and while they’re unconscionable in any industry, it’s especially galling to see one at a news organization which is laying people off and telling those still around that it’s the fault of the Internet and “changing reader tastes” and that everyone must learn to iPhone to keep their jobs.