Usually when an executive gets a bonus it's for a job well done.
Not in the case of Nortel
executives. In their case, they get a big fat bonus for a job done poorly. These bonuses are at the expense of Nortel pensioners. Do you think that's fair? Of course it isn't, but life isn't fair.
The thing that gets me is Mike Zafirovski
, the former CEO of Nortel, actions. Supposedly the word on the street is that he agonized over awarding these bonuses, while cutting pension funds and severance payments to laid off employees because he thought that it would stop high level executives from leaving the company on mass. Zafirovski's strategy was to maintain high asset value he needed these executives to stay put. Wow, what vision! These bonuses did not stop Nortel executives from jumping ship. Many did and maybe the ones he so desperately tried to keep weren't worth keeping. The company basically disintegrated right in front of our eyes. What where they doing to earn these bonuses? It certainly was not saving the company. That would be worth paying a bonus for.
A month after Nortel cut more than 3,000 jobs, Zafirovski announced that $45 million would be paid in bonuses to Nortel executives. The optics on this one was horrible. I would like to know how well Zafirovski sleeps at night in his mansion.
This sends a horrible message to employees and executives everywhere. The message delivered by these unfair Nortel bonuses is this: Only lookout for yourself; don't worry about the customer; and staff is irrelevant.
I only hope that this is the last we hear of Nortel's sad tale or corporate greed. This company was once a jewel of Canadian business, but now it will be referenced with likes of Bre-X