Monday, July 22, 2002

IF YOU PAY FOR MONKEYS, YOU MAKE PEANUTS: EMI's shareholders came together on Friday to stare hard at the board that cheerfully shoved twenty million down Mariah Carey's cleavage and waved her off, to ask just why the failed executives also get huge pay-offs. One shareholder angrily observed "Its amazing how when things go well, its great management, but when things go badly the board blames market conditions", and asked why useless executives get huge pay-offs when they get sacked. Chairman Eric Nicoli held his features straight and said "The salaries and bonuses we pay out are dictated by market forces, if you want to attract the best talent, you have to pay market rates." Which is corn at the best of times, but exactly what is the market rate for someone who's been so shit at their job they've brought the company to the brink of collapse? Have I missed the recruitment ads where six-figure sums are on offer for people lacking any skills and talent? It's arguable that multi-million pay packets are required for good executives - it's not like there are dozens of international labels seeking CEOs, and I'm guessing that Fierce Panda aren't forcing the rates up past the hundreds of thousands mark in the wider market, either. But to suggest the market is so bad you have to pay squillions to attract piss-poor talent that results in 1,800 people being dumped into dole misery is just risible, and an insult to our intelligence. What do the good ones earn? Surely at these rates there isn't enough money in the world?
In a bid to distract attention from how rubbish they are, the board announced that it's bought up the bit of the Motown publishing it didn't already earn, and proudly announced their belief that the new Atomic Kitten and Blue records will save the company - so every time you buy a Lamont-Dozier-Lamont classic, you'll be helping pay the salaries of people whose grip on music is so poor they can't spot when plastic bands are all mined out, either.
Levy and Faxon had their new positions approved, but an embarrasing one in five shareholders failed to support their remuneration package.
FT report on shareholder's meeting - goes subscribers only only early August

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