From: Phil Jackson
Dear Mr. Cox,
I applaud the recent change in reporting requirements regarding executive compensation. From what I see and hear on TV, companies are already moving away from reportable perks and increasing salaries to offset them.
I'm not one who advocates big government. However, I do believe that changes to the way businesses operate only happen when there is a finacial incentive or the law mandates it. Along that vein, I hope you'll continue your efforts to rein in excessive executive compensation.
I realize that companies hiring top executives are in fact bidding against each other and this is a major contributor to compensation inflation. I don't have a problem with fair pay or performance based compensation. I do have a problem with excessive pay and "golden parachutes" for underperformers ala Home Depot. In that case, not only did Nardeli not do anything for shareholders while he was there but he managed to screw them when he left. This is wrong and robs shareholders of money that could be paid to them as dividends or reinvested to grow the business.
I realize that the Board of Directors approves compensation for their executives. Perhaps more regulation in this area is required to increase the number of non-company directors or require non-company directors to head the compensation committee. Whatever the case, shareholders need to be protected from excessive and unjustifiable pay packages.
While the Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for executive compensation. holding them accountable under the current method of electing them is impossible. The fact that it is called an election is a huge misnomer. When's the last time a nominated director was not elected? Your efforts in making these elections actual elections would be appreciated.
Please consider this an appeal for controlling executive compensation and looking out for the rights of us "little guys" that have virtually no say in the inner workings of large corporations.