In yet another example of the continuous widening gap between executive pay and rank-and-file compensation, Sears Canada almost doubled the salaries of their top executives in 2013 while laying off about 2,000 employees.
The Toronto Sun reports that the top five officials of Sears earned a combined pay of $4.8 million in 2013 from $2.4 million in 2012. The data were based on a circular released ahead of the retail chain shareholders' meeting on April 24 in Toronto.
It identified new CEO Douglas Campbell as a beneficiary of a 47 per cent pay hike that came with his promotion from COO, boosting his base salary to $654,000 and a $238,000 yearly bonus.
The two VPs, Klaudio Leshjani and Salim Maherali, were given 85% and 86%, pay hikes, respectively, increasing their salaries to $775,000 and $581,000 in 2013
For the same period, Sears' sales went down 8.2 per cent to $4 billion, but profits went up more than four times o $447 million.
Sears Canada axed in mid-January 1,600 jobs across the country due to the lower sales, hitting mostly call centre workers. However, at the end of the month, it also cut another 624 jobs that are store-based.
Commenting on the numbers, Toronto Sun reader Jr pointed out that "Corporate greed is killing the world," while Taebok wrote that "Corporate execs make politicians look like chump change."
Responding to Taebok's comment, roman dog said that the executive are responsible to themselves and no one else. "They have no obligation to society," whereas public officials are supposed to place people first, "yet they pocket our cash with no recourse."
He further asked, "How can you condemn a private entity who has no obligation to put 'the people first' when those who are tasked with that very job don't uphold that standard?"
The discussion got deeper in the comments page as different opinions and theories about the economy, job markets and similar topics were provided by the commenters.