Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 15, 2007 / 25 Teves, 5767

Don't let the vault door hit you on the way out

By Mitch Albom


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was a kid, I shoveled snow to make a few dollars. One time, a friend and I did a driveway for a grumpy old neighbor. We pooped out before all the snow was gone, and when we asked to be paid, the old man refused.


"You don't finish, I don't pay," he said.


We skulked off. But those were the rules of the marketplace. You wanna get paid, you gotta do the job. Simple enough, right?


Apparently not in corporate America, where CEOs regularly leave their companies in no better shape than when they got there, yet walk away with huge compensation packages — "golden parachutes" they are called, or, as us common folk refer to it, "stealing."


Robert Nardelli is the latest example. He's the 58-year-old CEO who got passed over for the top job at GE, so he jumped to Home Depot for a compensation package worth about $240 million.


Some might ask why a guy from the world of power turbines should be running the third-largest retailer in the country — but then, CEOs don't like to be questioned. They have cultivated an image of what Tom Wolfe once called "Masters of the Universe."


And if you can run the universe, Home Depot should be a snap, right?


Well, not so fast. In Nardelli's six years at Home Depot, sales have sagged and the share price actually dropped 8 percent. In the corporate world, share price is your batting average.


Yet when people questioned his exorbitant pay — especially with the company worth less than when he started — Nardelli acted like an autocrat, at one point limiting attendance at the annual meeting and keeping questions to under a minute.


Finally, he was dumped.


OK. People get fired, right? But unlike most people, Nardelli walked away with a package worth $210 million — on top of the $64 million he was paid during his term.


Golden parachute? That's a platinum cloud.


Shareholders were furious. Not only did the guy not make them any cash, he took a fortune on his way out. That's a little like a neighbor who raids your fridge, and as he's leaving, asks for beer money.


So forgive my simple-minded Midwestern naiveté: But if the guy you hired doesn't do the job, why do you hand him a jackpot? Why don't you show him the door and say, "Good luck, fella"?


You know, the way the average worker is treated when he doesn't perform?


I guess because CEOs refuse to see themselves as average, or even as workers. Instead, they like to be compared to superstar athletes or box-office stars.


Well, I'd like to be compared to Brad Pitt, but that doesn't make it true. And yes, while superstar athletes get exorbitant salaries, remember, they are usually paid by rich individuals who get compensated by a rich league, rich TV revenues and fans who pay high ticket prices. If a player craps out, the stock price doesn't drop and thousands of people don't have to be laid off.


Greedy CEOs, on the other hand, are more despicable because of how many employees — and shareholders — get left holding the bag for their failure and avarice. Nardelli is not alone. Pfizer gave Henry McKinnell an exit package worth $213 million, after that company lost more than $137 billion in market value during his tenure. How many belts were tightened and people dismissed while he left richer than he came in?


Some say CEOs need to be paid this way for a firm to succeed. Baloney. While Home Depot sagged under the grossly overpaid Nardelli, its competitor, Lowe's, paid its top dog a third of Nardelli's money — and the stock rose 188 percent.


American business has created a subclass of elitists — CEOs and the board members who OK their salaries. And these people seem to think that money is just something to be handed out.


We're good with that. Just start handing it out at the bottom. You'd be amazed at how well your company works when you pay people for coming in, rather than for leaving.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

MITCH'S LATEST
"For One More Day"  

"For One More Day" is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Sales help fund JWR.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2007, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles