Friday, September 25, 2015

Corporate sociopathy watch

On Monday, Fonterra announced another round of job cuts, bringing layoffs to 750 for the year. Yesterday, their annual financial figures showed us why: profits were up, but revenue was down 15%, suggesting next year will be worse. So naturally, today we learn that their boss has given himself an 18% pay rise:

Fonterra's chief executive received a pay rise of up to $770,000 last year, despite struggling milk prices and hundreds of his staff losing their jobs.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings' salary for the year to July 31 was between $4.93 million and $4.94 million, it was revealed in the company's annual result on Thursday.

That's up to 18 per cent more then what he was paid in the year to July 31, 2014, pushing his hourly take home wage up to $1595.

New Zealand's adult minimum wage is $14.75.

It would take someone on minimum wage more than two weeks work to earn what Spierings makes in an hour.

Or 26 years to earn his pay rise.

Sack lots of people. Make less money. Watch your shareholder / suppliers go to the wall due to low prices. Clearly that's the sort of performance which demands a boatload of cash.

Executive pay is simply pillage, utterly divorced from company performance and ordinary human experience. As for the solution, its simple: tax the fuck out it. That sort of money has no reasonable purpose other than as a status symbol, a way of marking score against other sociopathic predators. And there's no reason for our society to support such games.