Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It Ought to Be a Crime

I don't like to dwell much on things I have no control over, but I'm going on a mini-rant, 'cause if I go for a full rant I'll probably explode.

So Scoob works for Hewlett-Packard. He's worked there 15 years; 3 as a contractor and the last 12 on payroll. He has received one, count 'em, one, 2% raise in the past 7 years, and in that time his workload has easily quintupled. More than that actually. He used to be responsible for 5 wizzy-whigs, now he's responsible for 90 whizzy-whigs and managing other people (not that his job classification has changed).

Hewlett-Packard laid off nearly 25,000 employees last year due to "the poor economy" and "restructuring." They have plans to lay off another 2,600 in the next few months.

Yet, Hewlett-Packard reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that CEO Mark Hurd's total compensation for 2008 was in the neighborhood of $42.5 million. MILLION. Other high level executives were reportedly compensated in the $20 million range.

Just last week, managers at Hewlett-Packard met with their project teams for brainstorming sessions on how to save the company more money. Well, I can see some glaringly obvious opportunities for saving some money—a helluva lot more money than cancelling holiday parties, turning down the thermostat, and taking away the free coffee and tea in the break room would.

Where is the Board of Directors in all this? They approve the CEO's compensation. I bet their compensation packages are just as padded, even though corporation Boards typically only meet once per fiscal quarter. Where are the shareholders? Your Board is not protecting your interests when it approves such astronomical compensation packages.

We're just frustrated. As Scoob says, "Hell, even the mafia takes care of its people." Scoob actually likes the work he's doing, but it's getting awfully difficult to want to go to work everyday and give 100%.

All I can say is W.T.F. It's just obscene.

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