Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The AIG Antithesis

From CNN:
Heroes of the Economy

Heroic act: Cut his own salary to $0
Position: CEO, Vail Resorts
Hometown: Vail, Colo.

Things are still sunny at Vail Resorts, which operates five ski and snowboard slopes in Colorado and Lake Tahoe, Nev. The company's revenues rose in the second quarter, boosted by real estate sales. But CEO Rob Katz expects the situation to head downhill.

To prevent layoffs, he decided to take the biggest cut himself. Unlike the AIG executives taking big bonuses and salaries, Katz cut his $840,000 a year salary down to $0 for 2009, and he will take a 15% cut when it is reinstated.

Seasonal employees were asked to a 2.5% pay cut, and executives agreed to a 10% reduction. The company's board of directors has agreed to reduce their annual cash retainer by 20%. Total saved: More than $10 million annually.

"If I was going to ask someone making $8 an hour to take a pay cut, they needed to know I was doing something that would really affect me," Katz says. "No one wants to see their salary reduced, but at least in this case those at the top are making the biggest sacrifice."
In order to adjust to a $0 salary this year, Katz said he will cut back on expenses like travel and food.

"I'm making changes, but you can't compare the challenges I go through to some of our folks," he explains. "I've saved money because I've made more over my time. They need to find a way to put food on the table."

"People here would rather take a pay cut than see their colleague lose their job," he adds. "Everyone at the company is a hero." -- Julianne Pepitone

Let's see: Running a successful business, not dependent on government handouts or subsidies, good business plan, realizes that he is already rich and has the best job in the world and would like to keep that job for himself and his employees, AKA NOT A GREEDY FUCKING IDIOT!

Just so everyone knows where I stand, not every rich person is an asshole and not every CEO is a rich asshole. I mean, how much money do you need and what are you willing to do to get it? Layoff 100 people? Ruin the economy? or just go skiing for free?

I agree with Sen. Charles Grassley, the execs at AIG should admit failure, take the blame, take no money or just kill themselves. Or perhaps we should publish their names and addresses (all their addresses) and let the tax payers take back what is theirs.

The next time I go skiing out west, which wont be this year, I will go to a Vail resort.

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