Published February 26, 2012
An electric car battery company reportedly has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies, but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives.
A123 systems, which was touted as a stimulus "success story" by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011, according to the Washington Examiner's "Beltway Confidential" blog, citing a report from the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
A123's primary customer, Fisker Automotive, is also struggling financially. "Yet, this month A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for [Chief Financial Officer David] Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received.”
This month has seen significant pay boosts for other A123 executives, as well, including vice presidents Robert Johnson and Jason Forcier.
The raises were reported by the company in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the Mackinac report.
“It looks highly suspicious,” Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, told Mackinac. “It looks like they are trying to pad their top people's wallets in case something really bad happens.”