Lessons from Penn, Harvard, Temple, public TV— and Ben & Jerry’s
From reader Willard B. Snyder:
So, now the question is: Where do you find someone with the vision, imagination, and the ability to convince the trustees of their vision?
As always, a great read but as I read it, I began to think you're a Gemini (like me) of two minds. (And indeed you are.)
On one hand, BIG salaries are obscene. On the other hand, what we see as being obscene is, like prostitution, defined by the price (and the return value). If we receive enough, we're not prostituing ourselves, only establishing the value of our talents.
How do we determine value? Is it determined by how the market determines the value of the product? Or is it determined by the quality of the work done to produce the work...no matter what the market value is? (A Van Gogh painting when produced or a Van Gogh painting on sale today?)
And then I am reminded of Lear's lament on the Heath: "O! reason not the need. Our basest beggars/Are in the poorest things superfluous." No doubt, every CEO/President/Writer/Poet/Professor know that they are worth one dollar more.
Farber may be right that the "right" salary "is of critical importance of [sic] finding and keeping a good chief executive." But how does a payout of $3.7 million (nearly interest free loan) plus her bonuses serve to "keep" her or help Penn? "Easing her 'presidential transition'? Indeed!
Exits are always tricky businesses. But they, often as not, define us.