Turning down bonuses

It's not exactly a stampede, but more CEOs are saying no to annual bonuses, whether because of the lousy economy or the company's finances. Two local examples are IndyMac's Michael Perry and First American's Parker Kennedy. Both companies are getting clobbered by the real estate downturn (Pasadena-based IndyMac is a mortgage lender and Santa Ana-based First American researches transactional stuff). Perry goes beyond the bonus, noting in the company proxy that he will step down and forgo any severance due him if shareholders choose not to reelect him. It's a somewhat hollow offer (CEOs never get booted by shareholders), but give the guy credit for candor and contrition. By the way, no executives or directors sold stock or exercised options in 2007, unlike a certain well-dressed, impossibly tanned CEO in Calabasas who also runs a mortgage company that's gotten creamed. Perry made a comparatively modest $1.4 million last year. As for First American, the WSJ reports that Kennedy requested that his $800,000 bonus be made available for other workers. Keep in mind that this sort of thing is still very rare. Just look at KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger, who received a "discretionary" bonus of $6 million in 2007. The L.A.-based homebuilder said in a filing that Mezger improved the company's balance sheet. Yeah, but isn't that what they're supposed to do?

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook