best and brightest

CEO Pay Unnecessarily High, Say Commie Liberal Academics in Their ‘Study’

A CEO, ready and able to screw the pooch at any time Citing a pressing need to siphon wealth from workers to Job Creators, corporations have embarked on a long con to convince us all that excessive CEO pay is absolutely necessary. After all, they must ensure that the Best and Brightest are at the helm! CEOs make so many important decisions, every day, all the time! They must therefore make these important decisions from the comfort of a private jet, or they will soon be making all of these important decisions on behalf of another company — one that is willing to give them a private jet — because CEOs are in such wild demand and the pool of replaceable workers is so small. Except now, a bunch of commie-liberal academics have demonstrated that inflated CEO pay is not necessary in order to retain top talent given that CEO skills are not all that transferable. Also, when a CEO moves from one firm to another, they usually screw the pooch.

New research by Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, and Craig K. Ferrere, one of its Edgar S. Woolard fellows … conclude[s], contrary to the prevailing line, that chief executives can’t readily transfer their skills from one company to another. In other words, the argument that C.E.O.’s will leave if they aren’t compensated well, perhaps even lavishly, is bogus. Using the peer-group benchmark only pushes pay up and up.

“It’s a false paradox,” Mr. Elson said in an interview last week. “The peer group is based on the theory of transferability of talent. But we found that C.E.O. skills are very firm-specific. C.E.O.’s don’t move very often, but when they do, they’re flops.”

We should note, of course, what it means to “flop” within the context of this report. A CEO “flops” when he fails to create long-term shareholder value. But anyway, we digress. The point here is that we can now outsource the job of CEO, probably. After all, if they “flop” when they come from an outside firm, why not just bring them from an outside Chinese or Indian firm? They’ll probably “flop” just as hard but for less pay. Just an idea, anyway. We’ll put a pin in it for now, come back to it later.

[New York Times]

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About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

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118 comments

  1. nounverb911

    President Mitt will amend the constitution requiring CEOs to get at least 47% of the profits every year.

    1. Negropolis

      I want a president who will amend the constitution requiring CEOs to be taxed at 47% of their personal earnings/investments. How's that sound?

  2. 1stNewtontheMoon

    What about CEOs of companies that exist only to buy and run (perhaps into the ground) other companies? They must be very highly skilled, right? And super-duper highly paid. I mean, they're buying (and running) lots of different companies. Like, Mitt, amirite? That guy must be a genius's genius.

  3. hagajim

    Best and Brightest are at the helm

    Can someone please tell me how R'Money got there? He sure as fuck isn't the best and brightest, though I will admit he was the best the GOP could pull out of their clown car this year.

  4. Lot_49

    That's why Home Depot prospered under "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap. His expertise at sucking Jack Welch's dick making jet turbines and railroad locomotives at GE just transferred naturally to selling 2x4s out of bins at the home center.

    1. mrpuma2u

      Speaking of Jack Welch, why does everyone think he was great? I think it was the legacy of his crap leadership (trashing the EV1 etc..) that forced GM into it's bailout phase. CEOs are overpaid louses.

    2. Pithaughn

      When I was employed at a Home Depot the CEO made at least 1700 times as much as I did. There is no human activity that any human can do even 1000 times better than me. just saying.

      1. Charlie_Foxtrot

        There is no human activity that any human can do even 1000 times better than me

        Not true for me. Hank Aaron had 2,297 RBI in 3,298 major league baseball games. You could put me in 4,000 major league games and I doubt I would get 2 RBI.

        Now, running Home Depot, on the other hand — I don't think anyone could do that 1700 times better than the chimpanzee who ate that lady's face.

    3. GeorgiaBurning

      Jack could do Donald Trump math- he borrowed as much cash as he possibly could on GE's card, and invested it in all sorts of enterprises. GE's revenue and earnings looked great! Of course, betting every number on the wheel doesn't pay off forever and getting back 5% while paying 6% doesn't fool everybody. But it fooled enough people long enough to make Jack a lot richer and get him a hot new wife.

      1. montreal_bruin

        And screwing the future hot wife (behind the old wife's back) while she interviewed him for his Harvard Business School case (hagiography) didn't hurt his bullshit legacy at all, right?

    4. commandermonkey

      Home Depots horrible CEO did come from GE, but was Bob Nardelli. Al Dunlop was the one who "helped" Scott Paper and Sunbeam to financial ruin.

  5. BloviateMe

    That's shocking, SHOCKING.

    The real talent lies underneath the levels of CEO. As far as I can tell, all a CEO really needs is an ego so large that he (I would say he/she, but I haven't had any experience with "she" CEO's. I assume too busy with the sammich makin') can make unflappable decisions, and a black heart. Additional perks are being tall, and a full head of hair.

    1. montreal_bruin

      Yes, Dennis (Tyco, Mid-State Correctional Facility) Kozlowski's only real crime was not having the hair.

  6. ManchuCandidate

    That bullshit idea is reinforced by the very MBA programs many of these CEO jackasses graduated from as if the skills they "teach" are rare. As if.

    I know lots of egotistical self centered narcissistic overpaid jackasses who don't know/can't do their jobs.

    1. Peckerwood_Pete

      I was never in the MBA program at my school…. I did get my undergrad. in Business Admin., and I will tell you, even on that level, professors basically brainwash their students into believing that CEOs are gods among men and are the best and brightest out there. Oh wait, I forgot… all college professors are commie liberals…. right? lol

  7. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    There seems to be this weird assumption that a CEO just needs to know how to be a CEO and doesn't need to know anything about THE FUCKING INDUSTRY THAT THEY ARE IN. But what the fuck do I know, I'm not even a manager.

      1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

        That might be a problem as even my boss and my bosses boss don't think executive management knows what they are doing.

    1. pdiddycornchips

      Apple replaced Steve Jobs with a guy who knew the soft drink business, John Scully.
      Mr. Scully decided the problem was Apple wasn't enough like IBM and set about ruining the company by stifling product development and hiring a bunch of corporate salesmen in blue suits. Eventually the engineers revolted and Scully was given several million dollars to go away. Steve Jobs came back, a year later, we all had iPods. Steve Jobs was not interested in selling soft drinks. He never considered leaving his tech roots to pursue a career as a corporate douche bag. Jobs made billions by creating designer tech shit but Scully made millions by fucking shit up.

      1. glasspusher

        Basically correct, but Jobs got kicked out in 1985 and returned near the end of 1996. iPods showed up in 2001. Steve said he'd rather make good stuff and fail than make crap and succeed, and that attitude let him succeed.

          1. UnholyMoses

            One of the reasons I'll never own another Apple product.

            (Both of my iPods were refurbished, so I feel somewhat clean on that front. But, really, I worked with Macs for years and loved them, but now … well, it's just overpriced and overrated electronics aimed at hipsters who are willing to spend too much money on gadgets. I just don't get it. But WTF do I know — I'm not a CEO.)

          2. glasspusher

            Might want to read what Paul Krugman has to say on that…and that certainly doesn't differentiate Apple from the other electronics manufacturers.

  8. memzilla

    One C-suite executive I worked for was so incompetent we called her "Miss Management." If she knew we meant it as biting sarcasm, she never let on.

    1. Fukui-sanYesOta

      Most C-level people I've met have been doofuses. Ah, that's not entirely true. They're talented and whatnot, but they're not … sharp. It's a hard expression to put across. They're not the whizz, the bang, the "I get it all".

      Sometimes the CEO isn't either, and those companies go down. When the CEO is the man with the bang, the companies win because he can MAKE them work.

      I'd imagine a company with a good CEO and good C-level execs would make a fortune.

      Cunts are still overpaid in the US.

    1. billy_reuben

      Outsourcing senior management: my not-so-secret Christmas wish for years now. Surely, we can find sociopaths in Bangladesh or Madagascar or Paraguay who deindustrialize us while weakening our solvency for one *tenth* the price that the batch do.

  9. LibertyLover

    I have been informed we are no longer allowed to question the ruling class. Because Ruling, duh. Especially since they have ultimate knowledge of all things. But let's just put windows that roll down in their private jets, just for them, 'kay?

  10. Gorillionaire

    The Man I used to work for rode three companies into the ground. Don't know exactly how much he got paid to do that but I know it was seven figures. I left just before he rode number three into the dirt, and then he left to preside over another company in another rotten town.

  11. Boojum

    Can we have a rule, let's call it a "law" that every company has to keep CEO pay and lowest paid worker pay within a ratio of, say, 20-30 to 1? If they don't, they owe employees outside the ratio double what they should have paid.

  12. SorosBot

    Come on now, it's not like any CEOs would suggest something so profoundly stupid as installing roll-down windows on a jet plane.

      1. SorosBot

        I've seen a few trolls elsewhere try and claim that he was talking about opening windows when a plane lands, even though looking at the whole statement that's clearly not the case, and we liberals are all just being mean to Mitt and trying to make him look stupid by – repeating exactly what he said.

        Look, wingnuts, the reason we point out that so many of the alleged gaffes that you pin on Obama are taken out of context is because, well, they are out of context; if you read or listen to all of his statements, they are completely reasonable and true. But when Romney says something stupid, hateful, or both, and you claim it's taken out of context, make sure it really is; most of the time the full statement is actually even worse than the one-liner.

  13. Toomush_Infer

    You know you are threatening the very fabric of our existence with these questions, right? On the other hand, my poor market choices could sure use more dividends, and they've got to come from somewhere – god knows these CEOs of mine are not making brilliant decisions….

  14. SorosBot

    It is kind of ironic that most CEOs seem determined to do everything they can to prove that Marx was right.

    1. bikerlaureate

      "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

      - Groucho Marx

  15. Rotundo_

    I wish I could snark about this, but this sort of thing is why my 401K is now worth a really mediocre used car. Oh well, I wasn't planning on retirement anyhow, just a trip down to the voluntary euthanasia center to watch a nature film (with Beethoven's Pasturale playing in the background) and fill out a questionnaire on what kind of cookie I would want to be reincarnated as, or something like that…

  16. SigDeFlyinMonky

    These jackanapes spend all their time repeating self-serving lies to each other until it becomes the "common knowledge" of their class. For the good of the nation it is the duty of our class to clock these shoats with our hard earned understanding of the real world.

    1. shelwood46

      There was one a couple months ago who got paid $44M after getting canned, having worked one day. He didn't even have time to bankrupt the company!

  17. ph7

    It's a simple fact that job creators deserve very large salaries, and we must be prepared to lay off some workers to pay for that salary.

  18. kittensdontlie

    These excesses are also in the public sector, taking for example Ohio State U. President Gordon Gee. In his five year tenure thus far, he made 8.8 million plus 7.7 million for his expenses. As a Mormon, he knows charity starts at home.

    Dayton Daily News article

      1. kittensdontlie

        That number would be three times greater. Remember, this is Ohio, where the battle of Romney vs. Bin Laden is legend.

    1. EdFlintstone

      Well we here in Penn State country know about the fine job Graham Spanier did and all the while making PSU the highest tuition public univeristy in the nation. You cant get incompetence like that for less than a million per year.

  19. sudsmckenzie

    In a related story the sun came up today, … and Carly Fiorina guided the James Madison University Board of Visitors.

    the fuck is a "Board of Visitors"?

  20. pdiddycornchips

    Well, to be fair, their pay packages are huge but their taxes bills are very small so it all evens out amirite?

  21. chascates

    All CEO bonuses should be based on something like the 3-year performance of a company and not quarterly. No more 'golden parachutes', no performance or salary bonuses decided by a board of directors but by a majority vote of stockholders. And anyone makes over one million a year has to spend one week every six months doing the most low-level job that company has.

  22. Beowoof

    Hey they figured out how to move the production work overseas and save $15 per hour on the pay rate for the workers. Then fucked over the American workers who earned a decent living. Now that's some serious managing. Clearly worth millions and millions. And we are blessed with loads of Made in China crap that most of us don't need and is poorly made to boot. All those middle class factory workers getting all uppity and shit wanting safe work places and for businesses not to dump their shit anywhere they feel like it. Fuck em they had it coming and they did it to themselves voting for Ronald Raygun, W and his Daddy.

  23. docterry6973

    But CEOs are the only ones who can create jobs for us! We must beg for their blessing by giving them huge sums of money. What if they abandon us? Where will we go? What will we do?

  24. mavenmaven

    The best thing that happened to Alaska was Palin leaving the executive branch and talking a high paying position in the entertainment industry.
    Unfortunately, it sucked for the rest of us.

  25. TootsStansbury

    I am "middle management". These fuckers are fucking morons for the most part. Ugh. All they care about is the holy bottom line, fuck actually delivering a product, that's my problem.

  26. deanbooth

    OT, but in the spirit of "two blocks from where I live," tomorrow the company where I've worked for 20 years is being taken over by a company financed in part by Bain Capital. I'll be fine — but what irks me most is that, since they sell the same kind of software we do, they'll probably be throwing out most of what we've created. We were a profitable company. They're causing tremendous turmoil and worry in my coworkers' lives, not to make a better product, but to eliminate their competition and make some big bucks for our major stockholders.

  27. seppdecker

    Knowing somebody who used to work for a crazy, crazy CEO, I can say that article is a VAST understatement. Her boss didn't know how to operate a computer, but he was ready to launch a stream of spittle-flecked curses at anyone who brought him bad news.

  28. MilwaukeeKent

    I've long felt they've become this cocooned class of queen bees, cushioned from every discomfort. Contractually assured of a soft fall (into millions usually, though not as many as if they did make a go of it) they don't care to plan much beyond the next quarter. As near as I can figure their primary skill is excelling at office politics. The higher you go the less you know.

  29. Negropolis

    Insane in the membrane; insane in the Bain!

    Something something Cross of Gold something something Mammon something something rope through eye of needle.

  30. lulzmonger

    CEOs: innocent helpless victim's of Obama's Uncertainty WMD – this nebulous yet devastating weapon works by generating a beam of pure epic confusion at CEOs over whether to put any of their sky-high profits back into circulation, or just strip down & wiggle around in it like dogs rolling in shite some more instead.

    Oh the uncertainty! OH THE UNCERTAINTY!

  31. Peckerwood_Pete

    I'd be glad to run a corporation into the ground for a hell of a lot less than these jackass CEOs are demanding…… and fuck a private jet, just help me get a new front tire for my Honda Civic…

  32. ChapterUndVerse

    Well, that's one tranferable skill, right? 'Cause my CEO is a filthy-tempered, foul-mouthed, emotionally incontinent lying asswipe who shits where he eats because he talks through his ass.

    And a screamer, also too.

Comments are closed.