28 million wrongs

I guess I should not be surprised. We heap tons of accolades and money on our “whiz kids” of Wall Street. Mark Hurd was just the latest CEO to be backing up his truck and filling it with large sums of cash. Sure we’re in the midst of coming out of one of the greatest recessions in our history, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spend millions on CEOs. At least, this is the thinking in these board rooms of large corporations. Mark Hurd, of course, was working for Hewlett-Packard. He is the latest in a long string of CEOs to “turn around” a failing company. He has allowed Hewlett-Packard to leapfrog Dell Computers to become the largest technology company in the world. For his efforts he was about to be crowned with a $100 million contract. Unfortunately for him, a little scandal has ruined his big payday.

Now Mark Hurd has been asked to leave. When you and I are asked to leave or place of employment, we have to fight to get our last check. They don’t even pay out the year. There is no golden parachute. We will not have access to the company plane. Yet, Mark Hurd will be given $28 million in cash and stock for submitting falsified financial reports in order to hide a relationship. How is paying this guy an extra dime in the best interest of Hewlett-Packard or the country?

This is just another example of how there are separate rules for corporate executives. The rest of us, when we get fired, we get nothing.

0 Responses

  1. Unless you're an HP stockholder, it's not your money, nor any of your business.

    “How is this in the best interests of the country?” you ask.

    Corporations do not have to justify their payroll decisions as being 'in the best interests of the country' unless they have been taken over by our socialist leaders like some of the banks and auto mfrs have.

  2. Thank you, Joe, for your clarity, again, on the subject matter of government intrusion into private-sector matters.

  3. I am just glad that congress just passed the jobs bill with the tax loophole taken out that gave corporations tax credit for moving jobs over seas. I hope the House keeps that in also. That was one of the items I wanted when Obama was elected to tax the ones that get the profits here but don't have to pay tax on them. Nor do they hire people in the US. So it is a free ride,.

  4. I've yet to see Dr Thompson question why a TV or movie star receives a multimillion dollar contract, or how it is 'in the best interests of the country' that they do.

    I guess since most of them are liberals and donate to liberal politicians, it MUST be ok somehow.

  5. they bring joy to everyday people. young old poor rich. You Mr White are cracking up. They stimulate the economy by providing something to watch. creating jobs for millions of people

  6. Margeret, that is the most non-sensical answer I think I have ever seen. It's OK for movie stars to make big paychecks because they bring joy, but it's not OK for CEOs to make big paychecks because you buy their products and services? How do you think you got to see the joy-inducing events? Through the TV you bought, or the movie theater you went to, or the computer you bought, or the whatever. Without the TV from “mean old corporate America” you don't have a medium to watch these joyful activities. What a bunch of nonsense. I am not saying that the entertainers can't make the money they do — more power to them. But don't dismiss the executives who helped get them there or helped you to get to them. How is it that the CEOs don't create millions of jobs? The CEOs actually employ millions of people, yet the entertainers only employ directly maybe tens of thousands. The rest of those that benefit with employment from the entertainers' success do so from that concept that's anathema to liberals — trickle down economics.

    Honestly, how do you come up with this stuff?

  7. so you don't agree with Charlie Wilson, former president of General Motors, who said in a Senate hearing as he is being confirmed for Secretary of Defense, I cannot conceive of one because for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country.” He was entering a question on how he would decide on what to do if there is a conflict of interest between the country and General Motors.

    Frank Abrams, chairman of standard oil stated, “the job of management is to maintain inequitable and working balance among the claims of the various directly affected interest groups… shareholders, employees, customers and the public at large.”

    I guess both of these guys wrong.

  8. Bud —

    who said anything about the government? I didn't say anything about the government. I said that this knucklehead was being overpaid. I said nothing about government intervention. That is something that you made up in your mind. Maybe, it's because, you think that all liberals believe that the government is the answer to everything. I never said that. I don't think that any liberal ever said that. But for some reason is something that conservatives believe that liberals deeply feel.

    I think that corporate CEOs are overpaid. If you look at the job they've done over the last five years, most of them have failed in their duties. Yet, they reap huge benefits for being failures. I would just like to see some sanity return to the boardroom. It won't happen without a major public outcry.

    Thanks for your comments.

  9. The last time you brought this up, I commented on how overpaid athletes and movie stars are. I think they're vastly overpaid for what they do.

    I have a problem with corporations that have a huge inequity between the person who's pushing a broom, the person who's answering the phone and the person who's making decisions. I am not Karl Marx. I do not believe that everybody should be paid exactly the same salary. At the same time, I do believe that people should be paid fairly for their work. With wages for the middle and lower classes staying steady (read stagnant) I think this makes it harder or impossible to afford the basics. I believe that this is the source of anger in our country but many people see other evils.

    Joe, just for you, I will say it again — movie stars and pro athletes, for the most part, are extremely overpaid.

  10. Bud — that is not a nonsensical answer. Let's try this instead, many movie stars have written in their contracts with a will get a percentage of their box office. I personally, think this is fair. If the movie flops, they don't get paid all that much but, if the movie is a hit, their rewards could be huge.

    I know the joy is not a big thing to you. It is a big thing to some people. As a matter fact, I think if we had more laughter in this country and lest anger we could probably sit down and solve our problems without a normal discussion devolving into a food fight.

    Now, to the meat of your argument, wouldn't the CEOs still bring all of those things that you're talking about to the American people if they were getting paid 1/10 as much?let's take Hewlett-Packard for example — suppose there ousted CEO was getting paid $2.8 million a year. That would free up over $25 million. How many people could that hire for $25 million? Could the company be more productive with more people producing more computers, more printers and the like? Could they be more innovative if they hired more college graduates? Could we have a better operating system than Windows 7 if they hire PhD's in computer science to work on the issue? What is your answer to all these questions? (Please don't tell me the same old corporate nonsense about losing the best people if they don't overpay them. When I think about all of the corporate shenanigans that have gone on over the last five years, I know these are not the best and the brightest that America has to offer.)

    Thanks for your comments. (By the way you can edit your comments if you register.)

  11. yes you grudingly admit that they are overpaid, but I've not seen you write a post headlined “Will Smith's Income Detrimental to the Country” or anything similar.

    Middle class wages are stagnant due largely to two factors: illegal immigration and cheap foreign goods flooding our market.

    With 20 million illegals working in this country mostly at jobs with below scale pay ( low wages, no benefits, no overtime, etc) the effect is to cheapen the value of labor. Why pay a higher wage when you can hire at a lower wage?

    Democrats tolerate and encourage illegal immigration because they hope to benefit politically from doing so.

    from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/9/

    “The union that represents rank-and-file field agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has unanimously passed a “vote of no confidence” for the agency's leadership, saying ICE has “abandoned” its core mission of protecting the public to support a political agenda favoring amnesty.

    The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 7,000 ICE agents and employees, voted 259-0 for a resolution saying there was “growing dissatisfaction and concern” over the leadership of Assistant Secretary John Morton, who heads ICE, and Phyllis Coven, assistant director for the agency's office of detention policy and planning.

    The resolution said ICE leadership had “abandoned the agency's core mission of enforcing U.S. immigration laws and providing for public safety,” instead directing its attention “to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to most U.S. citizens similarly incarcerated.”

  12. I was trying to point out that the entertainment industry is for sure a trickle down that works. Since you need the people who provide for every aspect of making a movie from renting the cars in the towns, to the caterers, extras, costumes makers, the security people hired and all the people who are involved all the way to the production to the advertising on tv, newspapers radio let alone the printing of the posters for the movie. This goes all the way to the people who work in the theaters and sell the popcorn to the sales of the dvds in the grocery stores. You have millions of people involved even if the movie is a flop the money was invested in the local and national economy. And thankfully there are alot made in this country.
    So to me when you look at the HP products and see where they are made and whick country they are using for techinical support. I am sorry I don't see why a huge corporation CEO should get such a kickback when most of the money was not spent in this country.

    I vote for giving Sandra Bullock 8 million for a movie the investment is far better. Since the production of a movie is far better for our economy than a cheap printer not made here.

    The corporations that outsource all their manufacturing to China and call centers to India to save a dime or millions of dollars for the benefit of their stock holders deserve to be taxed at a higher rate than the corporations that hire and invest in our country.

    I have to say that one item of the Healthcare bill requires that people answering calls about Medicare questions and approval have to be a licensed insurance agent. In Salt Lake they are opening a new call center to hire 500 licensed agents. They are going to pay a really good wage and are giving 500 dollars bonuses. This is protecting and creating American jobs in the private sector.

  13. Margaret,

    A company like HP makes products that are tools for businesses. These business tools make a business more efficient and more effective, reducing their costs and increasing their output for many years into the future.

    HP has a far greater positive economic impact than a movie. (and btw a lot of 'American movies' aren't made in America these days, did you know?)

    If you ever get the chance to run a business, maybe you'll understand what it takes then. It's obvious at this point that you don't.

    Companies like HP are the engines of growth for our whole economy. You ought to do a bit of reading on today's economy, and begin to understand the difference that technology has made in the ability of a company to survive and thrive with less overhead, while producing more.

  14. Too bad the money they make from the tax breaks they get here aren't spent here. I know the taxpayers in Utah are giving 350 million in tax breaks to try and get more of the film makers to come here. Just when we are cutting teachers and education and we spend the lowest per student in the country.

    I know what is working in this economy I work for a multi million dollar manufacturing company that has been successful for 65 years. We are competing against cheap labor in Mexico.But their work is horrible and so we are hanging on. But for the jobs to stay here we have to help each other and not look out for the stock holders dividends,

    Make sure the next time you go to see a movie and see all the US jobs it took to get it here. Versus purchasing something that comes straight from a foreign company and the only thing you are paying for are the truck drivers and the salesperson salary.

    I would rather the country give Corporation tax breaks to only companies who do not ship 99% of their production and call centers out of the country. Let that market hold its own.

  15. Margaret wrote:

    “But for the jobs to stay here we have to help each other and not look out for the stock holders dividends”

    If stockholders pull their money out of your company, you are toast no matter how good your product is. You need capital to stay in operation.

    I am all in favor of buying American. Believe me I am.

    What I'm not in favor of is someone like Dr Thompson or Obama deciding how much money we all should be allowed to make.

    If it's not their money, then it's not any of their business.

  16. It is the way they make the money that matters. Bernie Maddox made his money and now he is in jail. Why the people were duped. But wasn't it their fault? When people don't do their homework and find out where something is made and then make tons of money. It is justified right? Do you remember when the press found out that the clothing line with Kathy Lee Giffords name on it was made by child laborers. This was a long time ago. But she was still vilified for making a huge profit off of child labor. She then gave the profit to children charities. So if HP made the huge profits in order to beat out Dell then so be it. But it is the way they obtained the money that bothers me. If the people they hire in the 3rd world countries are in slave labor camps just so HP can crank out a cheaper product. Then I have a huge problem with the amount they make. Especially since the big corporations are given huge tax credits and not required to spend it in the country that gives it to them. But the CEO's get rewarded when they did nothing but learn how to cheat the system. If it is honest work then more power to them. But from what I read about the asian workers that is not the case.

    It is like a king making his subjects work for him and not given anything but the crumbs in return. I maynot run a company but I know how to employ people. I look for ways it forces the companies to keep people hired in this country even if it cost me more.

  17. We're not talking about a Bernie Madoff committing fraud.

    We're talking about a man whose boss (the board of directors) agreed to pay him a large salary.

  18. Will Smith, Tom Brady and other high paid performers are not the problem. It is the people who pay them that is the problem. It is the people who check out the ticket prices and make it near impossible for the middle class to see a professional football game/basketball game, they are the problem.

    I've talked about illegal immigration before. I've mentioned that both parties have benefited over the last 20 years from this practice. Whether it is Democrats who are trying to get votes or Republicans who are trying to help out their CEO buddies by keeping labor costs down, the results are the same.

    Finally, I am not sure why you included some union vote. I'm positive there's a lot of internal politics that you have not included.

    Thanks for your comments.

  19. what we're talking about is a click. The click is probably only a couple of thousand people. They sit on each other's boards. So, it is no mystery why salaries continue to rise. If I was able to put 10 of my friends on the Errington compensation board, I guarantee that my salary would go up dramatically.

    Thanks for your comments

  20. Dr Thompson wrote:

    “If I was able to put 10 of my friends on the Errington compensation board, I guarantee that my salary would go up dramatically.”

    So why don't you? Go to work for a friend who will give you a large salary and quit being envious of those who do.

    Unless it's your money being spent (i.e. if you are a stockholder) it's really none of your business how much a CEO's salary is.

    The left wing media makes such a big deal about it because they know that covetousness inspires the political left.

    Don't deny it. It is the basis of Obama's 'spread the wealth' philosophy and all of his socialist ideas.

  21. Dr Thompson wrote:

    “Republicans who are trying to help out their CEO buddies by keeping labor costs down”

    Democrats often get more money from big biz than Republicans.

    Of course you knew that, but you want to try to perpetuate an old and false stereotype that Republicans are 'the party of Big Biz'.




  22. This what is sad that the employees where taken advantage of and the CEO's told them to make sacrifices so they could take the money they earned for them.Not for the company but for themselves. If Joe worked there and found this out would he feel the same way after he lost his sick pay and benefits that were promised. I wonder.


  23. It's none of my business how much my boss makes. He doesn't answer to me.

    Envy and covetousness aren't going to be the driving forces in my life.

    Why should I make myself unhappy just because someone else has more than I do?

    There will ALWAYS be someone with more than I, so I would be condemning myself to lifelong unhappiness if I chose that route.

  24. You've never addressed the problem with the incest that existing corporate board rooms. let's just look at the board of a company like Hewlett-Packard. Marc Andreessen is one of the guys that started Netscape and is a director on the board of eBay. Lawrence Babbio was the former vice chairman and president of Verizon. Sari Baldauf was the Executive Vice President of Nokia corporation. Rajiv Gupta is a senior visor to a venture capital company and serves as the CEO of Rohm and Haas Co. He is also on the Board of Tyco and the VanGuard Group. John Hammergren was Chairman of McKesson.

    The best and funniest, only if you like dark humor, is G. Kennedy Thompson is the former CEO of Wachovia Corporation. This is the same CEO who presided over a bank collecting $120 billion worth of toxic mortgage-backed securities. He was fired from his job and lands a directorship on the board of HP?? How does that happen? I'll tell you how it is a good old boys club. Once you get in the club, you're in for life. You can run a company into the ground. You can get caught with your pants down. It doesn't matter.

    So with all of these CEOs slapping each other on the back and sitting on each other's boards, no wonder that CEO salaries continue to rise.the only thing that kept CEO salaries and check throughout the 1960s and early 1970s was a strong labor movement. Unions. (I hope he just didn't drop all of your keyboards when I mention the… unions.) Without a strong labor movement there is no incentive to pay workers more.

    Then again, you know this.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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