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?
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