Departing First Solar CEO Gets $40 Million for Failure. Sure, Why Not?
- Joshua M Brown
- October 28th, 2011
I love this stuff, it’s hilarious. Want a sure sign that capitalism is broken and shareholders have officially become too dumb/lazy to stick up for themselves anymore? Check this out from Chris Martin writing at Bloomberg:
Rob Gillette, who resigned as chief executive officer of First Solar Inc. ($FSLR) this week after boosting production capacity during a slump, collected $29.9 million for his initial 15 months on the job and may be eligible for an $8.9 million severance package.
The world’s biggest maker of thin-film solar panels rewarded Gillette while its shares dropped 60 percent from the day he started in October 2009 through Oct. 24, the day before he stepped down. Gillette’s compensation is at least 19 percent more than what Chevron Corp. CEO John Watson earned over the same period, when the U.S. energy company’s shares gained 54 percent.
I don’t understand, why stop at $40 million? Give him fifty million, or a hundred million – what’s the difference, it’s not even real money it’s just stock shares! Issue more stock and give this guy a billion dollars, would you please? It’s a victimless crime, who’s gonna complain?
Now as we all know, there are no shareholders left anymore. That concept of an investor in the company voicing a complaint like Jimmy Stewart at a town hall meeting is laughably quaint in the Land of Macro Mavens we now inhabit. People don’t invest in companies anymore, they are all running around like mini-George Soroses putting “risk on” and taking it off again.
No one actually owns stock except corporate insiders, ETFs and fast asleep elephantine mutual fund companies who would sooner hit the snooze button on the alarm than actually shake up a board of directors.
And so this kind of activity will simply continue, where executives break companies and are rewarded for it on their way out the door beyond the wildest dreams of most anyone else.
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.