Have you ever noticed that when things get a little tough for a company and they need to save a few dollars the first thing they do is lay employees off, or if things get too rough, they shutter entire facilities and "outsource" production to some foreign land with cheap labor? Meanwhile the CEO's and their senior VP's all stay here in their ivory towers, making big bucks and living the high life. Here's my idea....outsource THEIR jobs.
Case in point: Craig A. Dubow, until recently the CEO of Gannett, which publishes USA Today and 81 other papers. During his 6 years as chief executive, generally considered to be a disaster for Gannett, their stock fell to $10 from around $75 when he took over, and he pink slipped 20,000 of his 52,000 employees. Was he fired for such a pitiful performance? Nope, he was actually paid very well, $16 million in salary and bonuses over just the past 2 years. The Gannett board finally wised up and allowed him to "retire for health reasons" and gave him $37.1 million in retirement, health, and disability benefits as he left the building.
Back to my plan....why not get a CEO from India or South Korea or Bangladesh, set 'em up in a little office over there with a computer, internet, and Skype, and let 'em run the company long distance? You could probably get a sharp guy/gal for maybe $250,000 a year. They'd probably be happy to get it, and they wouldn't even need health benefits as it's usually provided by their gubment or available for barter from their village medicine man. Same for the top 20 or so senior execs. Imagine how much that would save the company. Talk about happy stockholders! What's the worst that could happen? They run the business into the ground....just like Mr. Dubow did?
I don't have a problem with paying a CEO big bucks if he does a good job, takes a struggling company, for example, and puts it back in the black, and even starts expanding and hiring. They deserve it. Alan Mulally of Ford comes to mind. But these days way too many Dubow's are paid like Mulally's.
As a backup plan, I'm available for hire for a measly million bucks or so a year. I'll even buy my own insurance, and drive myself, too. :)