Trashy's World Rotating Header Image

Nortel, AIG and the culture of corporate entitlement

So the suits at Nortel are asking for permission to pay bonuses to its top executives because they have done such a damned great job.

Check it out:

Wow! There is a list of accomplishments if I ever ever seen one! If my annual performance review ever looked like this, I would not only lose my job, but my employer would haul my sorry ass in front of a judge and I’d end up making license plates while enjoying the company of my new bunkmate named “Bunny“.

What gall! It’s the Canuck version of the AIG fiasco.

Give us our bonuses ’cause dammit, we drove the company and our shareholders right smack into a platinum coated wall and then left the scene with our wallets intact! After all, we are entitled to this compensation!

But hell, since y’all seem a little pissy about this, I tell ya what – we’ll “ask” our trough feeding execs to give HALF of the bonus back! Does THAT keep you quiet?

The crass greed of these guys and those inhabiting the soon to be sold exec suites at Nortel are the best (and worst) examples of the odour of corporate entitlement that has permeated much of corporate culture. Now, I am not at all against paying those who are in charge of large companies (or governments, for that matter) a considerable amount of coin when it comes to their compensation. BUT, when these same captains of industry let the wheel goes free and the ship head butts an iceberg… well, they don’t deserve anything.

They merit even less when the said ship is raised again using public funds and those same Captains of that same ship clamber back aboard, raise the sails and raid the treasure chest that have most thoughtfully re-stocked with public money.




Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Every time a customer calls and says “Send us the Squid, we have a job and we need it done right!” it helps ensure I get my full bonus, or more 🙂

  2. On the flip side, where I am now, bonus is negotiated as a % of pay. so for 2006 and 2007 my bonus was 5% of base salary. For 2008 it was 10% and should be 15% this year.

    In 2006 I got the full amount, in 2007 I got 105.7% of the amount. The recent bonus was 70% of the amount because the company didn’t quite make it’s target (but was close), I aced my bit though.

    It’s funny how they try to spin it. I consider a bonus to be precisely that – a bonus. It’s outside my comp package. Some companies try to say it like it’s part of your base salary. They do this so they can get away with paying you less base salary. That’s why my bonus % has been going up – they don’t want to give me an annual raise, even though it’s probably costing them more. It makes me think that the execs feel we might tank soon.

    Bonus comes out of a different pot of money too. It’s not on the salary budget at most companies, so the corp is taxed on it differently, etc.

  3. trashee says:

    Crap. Damned glad that I`m in the public sector and at a level where performance and salary are not linked. That`s not to say that I don`t merit 654% above base – cuz I do!
    But I don`t have the pressure. I`m good just knowing that I merit it.
    Unlike those greedy capitalist pig dogs.

  4. I don’t understand the bonus thing. I work at a company where there is a bonus. The bonus works like this: If the company makes its revenue numbers, then the corporate part of the bonus (70% of each person’s bonus) is paid in full. As far as I can tell, each % that we miss the numbers drops the corporate part by 10%. So if we make 93% of target, the corporate part is multiplied by .3, so becomes “21%” of the payout.

    The rest of the bonus is based on merit – your annual evaluation.

    It’s possible to exceed 100% if the company aces its numbers AND you get a stellar evaluation. (I got 105.6% last year).

    BUT.. and this is the big butt…

    If the company loses $2 billion AND it was my job to prevent that, well: We didn’t make the numbers (70% flushola) and I obviously failed at my job (30% flushola). Presumably, bonuses at Nortel are also issued on some kind of merit formula like I just described.

    The bonus should, therefore, be precisely 0… if the bonuses are merit based.

    Obviously, if they’re paying bonuses to execs, they aren’t merit based. The correct bonus for Nortel execs would be a size 12 combat boot applied forcefully to the gluteal area.

    What needs to be spelled out, perhaps in law (which makes me cringe, but seems to be necessary) is that a bonus is exactly that – a bonus. It’s not an entitlement and must be merit or dividend based… in otherwords, the company must succeed for anyone, but especially executives to get it.

    I have no problem with execs getting $165 million in bonuses if the company is rocking the world, but at Nortel FFS?

    The worst bonus plan I’ve seen: a certain local company: to pay a bonus, the company must make its numbers annually. In each half separately, it must make the numbers or the bonus is pro-rated. Within each division, the division must make its numbers all 4 quarters. Miss a quarter and the bonus is prorated against the TOTAL. Within each division, each group must make its numbers all 4 quarters, and if you miss a quarter, the bonus was prorated. Within each group, each employee got a bonus out of the total based on his annual evaluation.

    So if the company missed its numbers: no bonus

    If the company made its numbers but your division missed its annual numbers: no bonus.

    If the company made its numbers and your division exceeded its numbers but missed 2/4 quarters: bonus 50%

    If your group exceeded its numbers but missed a quarter: bonus *0.75

    If you are an exceptional employee, you get 100%, an average employee got 50% IIRC. So you’re Joe Worker, you bonus *0.5

    Thus… the company makes its numbers, your division EXCEEDS its numbers but is a bit erratic, your group exceeds its total numbers but has 1 bad quarter, and you’re doing just fine, you get 18.25% of whatever the bonus is for your pay grade.

    Usually, they paid precisely dick for not making the corporate numbers, even though my division and group blew our totals away every year. 3 years I worked there and didn’t see a dime even though our division was effectively floating the whole damn company.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: