Wednesday, February 4, 2009

$500,000 is the right form of executive compensation if your business is asking for a government handout....

President Barack Obama's announcement today that executives in corporations who accept federal bailout money will have to limit their salary to $500,000 shows tremendous leadership in these troubled times.

Despite what some of my friends may think about me, I was not an Obama supporter and I truly waffled in the ballot box. However, Obama's decision today convinces me that I made the right choice when it comes to the issue of straightening out the economy.

As a communications consultant, I am amazed too how the Bank of America, one of the beneficiaries of the bailout program, still scheduled an executive 10-day summit in Las Vegas. And, I truly feel sympathy for the communications professionals who have to deal with the outraged press types who questioned this as a valid business expense.

Don't get me wrong. Businesses have to spent money on trade shows and advertising to jump start their sales processes. Anyone with a bachelor's degree in business gets this concept. However, when you take money from the tax payers to restore your business, a 10-day junket in Vegas is not a smart business decision.

Obama's decision, as well, to make sure that bailout beneficiaries can get bonuses above $500K in stock shows intelligence. If you are truly willing to make something work, the incentive of restoring a company to the point that investors will make it worth an executive officer's time and trouble can only be the blue print to help our troubled economy.

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