7/19/2005

Greedy bastards


It's a tough world for HP. I mean the company is basically floundering with its measly $3.5 BILLION profit, and CEO Mark Hurd is barely getting by with his $1.4 million salary and tiny $2 million signing bonus (oops, I almost forgot his inconsequential $2.75 million "relocation allowance").

In fact, the company is in such dire straits that they are laying off 14,500 workers. Jesus. That's 14,500 families who are now without a job in an area where the median housing prices hover around $760,000. What is wrong with this picture, America?

But that's not all! HP also announced that they are getting rid of those pesky pension plans, too. According to the SF Chronicle, "The company announced that, beginning in January 2006, it will freeze pension and retiree medical-program benefits of HP employees 'who do not meet defined criteria based on age and years of company service.'"

I mean, why not, right? After all, the guys cutting the retirement plans will never need a pension when they're old and grey...they'll probably have some of their $2 million signing bonus left over, I'd guess. Wrong. If Hurd gets layed off, his employment contract guarantees that he would "receive a one-time cash payment equal to 2.5 times Hurd's then-current base salary plus his target bonus amount. Hurd would also benefit from continued health benefits, the vesting of all stock options and partial vesting of restricted stock." That's fair, right?

So why, you might ask, does a company that's well in the black lay off a substantial part of its domestic work force? Why, Joe, why? Well, you see, in addition to Hurd's salary and bonuses, he also receives more than 1,550,000 stock options in the company. When companies lay off workers, the stock price rises temporarily. If the stock goes up just $1 per share, that's another $1,550,000 windfall to Hurd and his buds. Sweet! (If you are Hurd or one of his buds, that is.)

What adds yet another stick into my already crowded craw is the glib way that these family-crushing, greedy, dare I say anti-American corporate clowns celebrate this kind of behavior:

"This was Mark’s coming out party, and he came out with great strength,” said analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates.“

Well, at least Mark's party went well. Good for you Mark. You prick.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

Yeah, I read where some analyst said this would improve morale internally. Yeah, that's the first thing that came to my mind too. I think it went something like this: Boss, "You're fired." Employee, "I feel better already."
On the other side of the coin, have we as employees priced ourselves out of the market? That's a whole nother can of worms though.