April 19, 2006
CEO Pay Is Costing You!
(Well, A Buck-Eleven)
time you have to buy store-brand spinach instead of name-brand spinach,
blame Lee R. Raymond. He has your money.
is the recently retired CEO of Exxon, and the latest example of
executive pay that outrages everyone Ė at least everyone who isnít an
did OK. His $69 million salary package will probably allow him to leave
the spinach coupons at home when he heads to the grocery store. And his
$98 million pension payout? Well, that seems like a bit, although itís
worth remembering that he spent 43 years at the company accumulating
that pension value. Still, critics rage, he would have only gotten $81
million had he retired a year earlier.
of the guy sticking around an additional 12 months for Barry Bonds-type
you fear for the future of Exxon, I think they can afford it. The
company reported $36 billion in earnings last year, and now that all
those rocks and seals in Alaska have had the oil scrubbed off them,
things should continue to look bright well on into the future.
complaint here, of course, is that Mr. Raymondís windfall came at the
expense of consumers paying upwards of $3 a gallon for gas. This is a
corporate scandal for the ages, isnít it? Fat cat oil man waves goodbye
to the board, the shareholders and the little people who dig the wells Ė
all while his pockets bulge with hundreds and thousands Ė as the
struggling seamstress with seven starving kids foots the bill by
emptying every last drop into the 1979 Olds Station Wagon that also
serves as their home.
Raymond, shame on you! Those kids havenít eaten in 19 weeks, and some
bimbo is feeding you turkey legs and grapes.
good stuff, and it might have the makings of a Michael Moore
ďdocumentary,Ē except that someone Ė like me Ė might run the numbers.
for the sake of discussion, that Lee R. Raymond was the worst CEO in the
history of executiveness, and deserved compensation of absolutely zero.
So take that $167 million and make it go bye-bye. Exxon never spent it.
He never earned it. He worked for free.
imagine that Exxon felt really bad for you, your next-door neighbor and
that lady in the station wagon with the seven starving kids, and decided
to apply the entire $167 million to savings for you at the pump.
laughing. Now, the Census Bureau says there are just under 300 million
people Ė hey, I said stop laughing! There are just under 300
million people in America. Letís say for the sake of discussion that
half drive and buy gas. Thatís 150 million people. Now letís say $1.11
was allocated to each of those 150 million people in the form of savings
on gas. With me? Good, because Mr. Raymondís entire compensation package
has just been redistributed to all of Americaís drivers. Thereís nothing
left. $1.11 per person. Thatís it.
many gallons of gas do you buy in a year? All right, never mind, how
many do you buy in a month? Fifty, you say? Fine. Reduce the cost of a
gallon of gas by two cents for one month, and youíve just used up your
share of the Gas Price Reduction Resulting From Raymondís Lack Of
Compensation Because He Sucked As A CEO discount.
last long, did it?
you could have used that $1.11 for other things. A dozen eggs. A Diet
Coke. Some baseball cards. Remember Wacky Packs? If theyíre still
around, I bet you could get some for $1.11. My favorite was Bitter
Homes & Garbage magazine. But I digress.
every year some enormous brouhaha develops about some CEOís compensation
package. A few years ago, New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso got so
much money, the attorney general of New York started trying to find some
reason to call it illegal. Last I knew he was still looking.
It would be
one thing if the compensation these guys receive was really being stolen
from the mouths of starving children. But more often, they run the
companies that make the stuff that allows those children to be fed. Of
course, thatís easy for me to say, because Iím a CEO, and Iím seriously
considering writing myself a check for $167 million just because I can.
But I hear
your outrage, and I know that if I do that, you wonít find it funny. My
bank, on the other hand, will laugh itself silly before having me
arrested, which I guess just goes to show I am in the wrong business.
Time to find some rocks and seals, and start scrubbing.
© 2006 North Star
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