In his relatively new gig (Grassroots Journalism), Dan Gillmor is developing a knack for calling out over-the-top excessiveness when it's begging to be called out. It's the main reason I follow Gillmor's blog. As the master aggregator and editorializer of financial impropriety, few people seem to cross borders (industries, government, etc.) to zero in on such poor form when it happens with exactly the right perspective the way Gillmor does. One of my personal favorites came when he hammered George W. Bush and friends for spending $40 million on parties to celebrate the victory over John Kerry. With great economy of words, Gillmor summarized "What Bush and his allies are doing is just plain vulgar, particularly
in wartime. They have no sense of proportion, as they've demonstrated
so many times before. But this is over the top. Bush's press secretary
says the object of this over-the-top scene is to 'celebrate freedom.'
No, it's a mockery." Love or hate the Bush administration, Gillmor made a great point.
So, it came as no surprise when today when Gillmor zeroed in on BusinessWeek's story regarding the $3 million bonus that HP's board awarded to its CFO Robert Wayman for temporarily filling in as CEO while the company sought a replacement for Carly Fiorina. Not only does that sum come in at a mere $100,000 less than Fiorina's total compensation for all of 2004, it worked out to $58,000 per day -- more money than many Americans see in two years and a slap in the face to the HP stockholders who lost money during Fiorina's reign. One can only imagine where HP would be if that was Fiorina's pay-rate throughout her tenure as CEO. Of course, with her $21 million in severance pay, another gaff that Gillmor nailed, it's doubtful that Carly will be jealous of her former direct report's daily pay. Said Gillmor in today's post, "With this flagrantly over-the-top gift, the board is showing contempt for its shareholders, employees and communities."