All Carrot — No Stick

Talk about rewarding awful behavior.

Richard McGinn is dumped at Lucent Technologies. The stock tumbling, the business crumbling and wouldn't you know, Mr. McGinn, profiting — big time. It turns out that as he was shown the door, he was shown a huge severance package totaling more than $12 million.

12 million smackers!

Imagine what he'd have received had he been great!

Then there's Deborah Hopkins, Lucent's former chief financial officer. She received nearly $5 million in cash and stock before she was dumped. For about a year's work, I might add, and on top of collecting a $4.6 million signing bonus.

Hey, all the more power to these guys if they can swing these deals. But come on.

Am I now supposed to feel sorry that they missed out on potentially tens of millions of dollars more in now worthless stock options? Please. It's galling. It's insulting. It's damn near criminal.

So what! So they were forced out. Fine. But apparently with some really great consolation prizes.

Let me ask you something, to all of you who've ever experienced being laid off or pushed out. Did you ever get sweetheart deals like that? I doubt it. A good swift kick in the butt was more likely. That's fine if you had it coming. But you probably didn't. These guys were running the show. They probably did have it coming.

Where was their impetus to perform? These guys couldn't lose. I win, I get tens of millions of dollars. I lose, I get maybe just ten million dollars.

I can see the carrot. I just can't see the stick. But I do see who is sticking it to whom. And it isn’t the guys who were just fired. But guys who signed their walking papers.

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