Unless you’ve lived under a rock all your life, I’m sure you’ve experienced a totally incompetent person being rewarded with an undeserved promotion. In my own career, I’ve seen completely clueless social workers rise to become supervisors. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it happens – far too many times.
We’ve seen elected officials who couldn’t balance their own checkbooks in charge of billions of dollars and think nothing about wasting our hard earned money.
We’ve seen a politician fail to pay his own taxes yet, is the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee who expects us to pay our fair share.
We’ve seen corporate executives run their companies into the ground and receive multi-million dollar bonuses in return but expect us to bail their companies out of debt.
We’ve seen years of bank incompetence lead to the foreclosure crises and again banks expect the taxpayer to bail them out.
We’ve seen the appointment of the most powerful attorney in the land who probably couldn’t process a divorce in a no-fault state.
We’ve seen a community organizer with absolutely no executive ability elected to the most powerful position in the world.
I could go on and on but you get my point.
I’d have to say, though, that the worst case of incompetency being rewarded in recent months is the increase in benefits and bonus to Steven L. Newman, Transocean Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer. Transocean is the owner of the oil rig that exploded a year ago this week and killed 11 workers, injuring 17 others. BP leased the rig and Halliburton installed the rig’s cement casing.
Mr. Newman’s salary increased by $200,000 to $1.1 million and received a bonus of $374,062, in addition to the $5.4 million long-term compensation package he’d been given when he became CEO in March 2010. Here’s the company’s statement to the SEC, “Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate. As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our Company’s history.”
There are plenty of lawsuits pending and there’s plenty of blame to go around. But can anyone be truly compensated for the loss of a loved one? Will our ecosystem ever totally recover from this catastrophe? The effects of this disaster will be felt for years to come. How can this guy be compensated after all this loss?
I just don’t get how the situation last April, which kept us waiting for 87 days until the oil spill was stopped, could warrant a reward to the CEO. Transocean claims to have had a “strong overall” safety record with no major incidents for seven years.” If Mr. Newman had any part in those seven years of overall safety, then I have no problem with his initial compensation package in March of 2010. But the company’s recent filing with the SEC which states that its record is “a reflection of our commitment to achieving an incident-free environment, all the time, everywhere” is just ridiculous. I don’t know how Transocean can make such a statement with a straight face.
The remuneration committee at BP seems to have had a bit more common sense. Chief executive Bob Dudley, who took up the top post in July, and his predecessor Tony Hayward, who presided over the company at the height of the Deepwater Horizon crisis, as well Andy Inglis, former head of exploration and production, were denied additional bonuses. Now that makes sense to me.
I’m not against drilling. I’m not against executives making big bucks. People who are competent should be rewarded. If the CEOs are making money for their shareholders and everyone is happy, they should be compensated. I don’t begrudge any executive top dollar if their performance warrants it.
Rewarding the CEO for the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history,” — the same year which saw the worst oil spill considered the second largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, behind the Dust Bowl – is jaw-dropping.
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.