Office Depot boss sees pay cut . . . to $6.3 million

This morning, I read the headline "Office Depot Boss Sees 65 Percent Pay Cut".

I think, great, finally, an executive is taking responsibility.

I read the first paragraph, which says, "Office Depot's chief executive received a nearly 65 percent pay cut in 2008, a year in which the struggling office supplier posted a loss of nearly $1.5 billion and said it would close 9 percent of its stores to cut costs."

I think, okay, that sounds like shared sacrifice, top to bottom.  This guy's a corporate hero.

Then I read, "Steve Odland received $6.3 million in total compensation in the recently completed fiscal year . . . in fiscal 2007, he received compensation valued at $17.8 million . . ."

Excuse me?

The man who led his company to a $1.5 billion dollar loss received $6.3 million in compensation, and that's a pay cut?

Capping executive salaries at companies that get bailout money is a good idea.  But, the deductibility of all executive salaries must be capped by a multiple of the firm's lowest paid employee (whether it's 10 or 50 or 100 times the salary of the lowest paid employee).  

If the directors and shareholders of a private concern want to pay someone millions of dollars per year for destroying their wealth, that's their choice.  But, we don't have to subsidize it with tax deductions.

Tags: executive pay (all tags)



Capping salary and options deductions?

Wow, what yourself KNM; you're sounding more like a "farleftdemocrat' then a "farrightdemocrat" with this socialistic class warfare attack on the rich!

Ideas like realistic salaries for CEOs and actually making them earn them!

I could start mistaking you for "a democrat" disregarding the far left or far right moniker!

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-13 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Office Depot boss sees pay cut

You have to love these guys for taking personally devastating cuts in pay, commensurate with the losses their companies are sustaining.

If it were possible to pass legislation to yoke CEO salaries to performance, then anyone might agree with the way these executives loot companies for personal gain. But not otherwise. Frankly, and it will never happen, what we really need is a reinstitution of a real progressive tax, perhaps even going back to the high 90% rate to handle these greedy and apparently incompetent executives.

by MainStreet 2009-03-13 09:42AM | 0 recs
Well they know that Ayn Rand is full of crap

All of these executives know that, if they were actually to implement the ''Atlas Shrugged'' policy, that the civilized world would get along just fine without them.

Maybe Odland should be fired without a golden parachute, maybe not... I don't know the specifics of his company or if the financial weakness were his fault, but I do have to commend him for giving up over half of his salary; even if it's still too much, he's operating against self-interest to a degree that very few of this class of people ever do.

by Dracomicron 2009-03-13 09:48AM | 0 recs
Only the mob can scare these guys.

The AIG execs are still seeing their bonuses untouched. The claim is that they will risk violating employment contracts. What kind of employment contracts are valid if the company can go bankrupt without govt assistance? I dont know why our politicians could not put strict conditions and ask AIG to take it or leave it?

And this excuse is rich - that the company cant risk losing their best and brightest. Hey, give me a tenth of what they earn and I will promise only to lose you a million instead of billions. We do not need the best and brightest if all they do is lose billions.

I tend to be fiscally on the right, but also I like to support what is moral and deserving. These execs do not deserve millions.

THis whole logic that they are cutting their pay is not enough. By their old logic where they earned millions when the company made a profit, they should be PAYING millions right now to be consistent with the logic of their compensation. So if we told them to take a hike if a half million is not enough , they should be glad.

Oh, one more thing. Let us make sure we do not fall for the bluff that we need to pay millions or they are gone. Many execs are losing their job. IT IS TIME WE INJECT FREE MARKET PRINCIPLES TO THE SALARIES OF EXECS.

by Pravin 2009-03-14 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Only the mob can scare these guys.

I dont know why our politicians could not put strict conditions and ask AIG to take it or leave it?

Because the survival of AIG meant the difference between stablizing the financial markets or sending them into a fatal tailspin.

The government was, and still is, not in any position to negotiate with AIG, unfortunately. This economic system that many of us "socalist" and "liberal pinko commies" fought against for decades is why.

by DTOzone 2009-03-15 09:12AM | 0 recs


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