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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BP's CEO notes delete edit Tony Hayward: A Golden Parachute Despite Failing on Safety

In terms of corporate governance setting executive compensation to align the employee's incentives to the financial interests of the company even beyond his or her term of employment, it is apparently quite easy to go overboard. This can include severance packages for top managers--packages that may not reflect the performance of the executive. At the very least, it would appear that corporate lawyers are not writing very good contracts. Worst yet, insider board-management friendships may mean that the gap between achievement and severance pay may be intentionally wide. Sadly, the innocent non-management investors whose interests are not adequately represented in the board room pay the price, even if they don't perceive it on an individual level.  Even so, the lack of fairness alone calls for an end to the insider luxuriating.  The case of BP, whose rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, provides a good case study.

The full essay is in Cases of Unethical Business, which is available at Amazon.