5 Signs Your CEO May Suck

With all the talk of a United States recession looming, the ex-President took his share of licks in the past year, and Obama is looking to bring in some exciting new bits to an already messed up economy. However, a lot of the blame is being placed on George Bush, but not all of it – he seems to be sharing it with many big company CEOs.

People generally look closer to home to start the blame game before jumping to the President; but does any of this blaming carry any merit? It may if… How soon should ol’ George Bush have seen it? Should he have stopped the largest housing boom in US history? He could have implemented rules that would have stopped banks from offering loans; he could have had the Federal Interest Rate raised, right?

I’m sure he could have, but people likely would have tore him up that way too for not letting people cash in on the “American Dream”. If he’d have halted loans he would have caught flack. “What if” is a fun game, right?After the CEO blame game, the next logical step is the American Government.

People have rode Bush for months and years that this is his fault and he followed up with a Stimulus Package that, as far as I’ve seen, hasn’t stimulated much more than the desire for another stimulus package.

People love free money, and I’m no different, but realizing the impact of it on our global scale isn’t something that the person who just lost their job cares about – they want to be shown the money!

So without further adieu, I present the 5 signs your CEO may suck:

5. Your boss’s boss’s boss makes 344 times more than you do.

Some 77 percent of Americans polled last year felt that corporate executives “earn too much.” Most corporate boards apparently disagree. Last year, although the nation’s economy was already in trouble, they gave the chief executive officers of the Standard & Poor’s 500 largest companies on average a 2.6 percent pay hike to $10,544,470.Relative to past raises, this is not a big income jump.

Nonetheless, that sum is still 344 times the pay of typical American workers, says Sarah Anderson, an analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a liberal think tank in Washington.

If you’re trailing your boss by that much and the economy is still sitting in a slump like this – how can they deserve to get paid nearly that much? CEO pay packages 30 years ago averaged only 30 to 40 times the average American worker paycheck.

I don’t see a problem with that, but it may have gotten a bit out of control. I say that from the salary I’m currently making, but if I was on top, would I want more? I imagine so, but there needs to be a line…

4. I still can’t get over the big 3 from the auto industry “begging” for money and flying private jets over to start the begging.

“There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses,” Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

3. The little guy is forced into subsidizing excessive CEO compensation

“Two weeks after the Government Accountability Office reported that “two-thirds of corporations operating in the United States did not pay taxes” between 1998 and 2008, The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) released a new study revealing that the American tax payer is subsidizing “executive pay excess” to the tune of $20 billion a year.

In fact, “the more that corporations shell out for executive pay, the more they pocket in profit at the expense of average taxpayers.” Through a series of bureaucratic rules and loopholes, the federal government is transferring billions of dollars to the most privileged Americans.”

2. You’re likely looking to get cut in 2009, but not know about it.ceosays.jpg

“WASHINGTON — The majority of U.S. CEOs say they expect to cut workers in the next six months, according to a survey out Thursday that showed a rapid deterioration in the economic outlook from the nation’s top executives.
The Business Roundtable said its CEO economic outlook index, which shows how CEOs believe the economy will perform in the six months ahead, plunged to 16.5 in the fourth quarter, down from 78.8 in the prior quarter. It was the lowest since the private group began doing the survey six years ago.”

This is the one that really irks me. I understand it from a business perspective, but it sucks. They keep you on as long as they have a “need for you” and then once they’ve figured out a way to get rid of you, zing, you’re out. From a business perspective this makes sense because you don’t want to stick yourself by announcing that you “may” have to make cuts, or your people will go running.

1. If they’re taking a bonus this year, (or they did last year).

“Trouble in the economy made it difficult, if not impossible, for even the best managers to meet goals that corporate boards set for chief executives at the start of 2008. And even if corporate boards want to reward CEOs for doing a good job in a bad environment, it doesn’t look good to give something extra to executives while employees are being laid off and shareholders have seen stock prices plunge.The latest example is Merrill Lynch (MER) Chief Executive John Thain. The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 8 that Merrill’s board is resisting Thain’s request for a bonus of up to $10 million. In 2008, Merrill’s stock price plunged, it had to sell itself to Bank of America (BAC), and thousands of employees face layoffs. But Thain can argue he helped avoid an even worse crisis for the firm.”

Yes, I think the “little guy” should get their bonuses; you’re the head honcho, make a big boy/girl decision and take one for the team, you’re the leader after all.


Times suck right now pretty much across the board – what I’d like to see from a leader is very close monitoring of all parts of the business. I’d like to see the CEO chatting with the employees personally to keep them abreast of the situation. Let everyone have a say in ways to fix it.

From what I’ve seen the corporate board rooms are packed with 10 or 12 people that know how to run a business when it is cooking. We haven’t had a drawn-out recession like this since World War II. “The U.S. economy may be headed for its deepest and longest recession since World War II as mounting job losses take their toll on consumer confidence and spending.

Employers cut payrolls last month at the fastest pace in 34 years as the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, the highest level since 1993. The 533,000 drop brought cumulative job losses this year to 1.91 million, the Labor Department said yesterday in Washington…

…At 12 months, the recession is already the longest since the 16-month slump that ended in November 1982. The recession is the 11th since a downturn that occurred in 1945, the year that World War II ended.

I’d like to see the CEO’s taking a pay cut – yea, if I was there I’d find it hard to cut the yacht budget, but at 344 times what I make, it is a bit ridiculous. I’m sure that the upper-echelon is barking back down the ladder at me saying that they’ve climbed their way to the top and they deserve it, but let’s be honest, the current “top” is much (much, much, much) higher than it was in the past.

Filed Under: adviceBusiness