I'd like to share some excepts from a front-page story in today's Wall
Street Journal on Domino's Pizza and how it is treating workers
-- non-management, minimim-wage-earning employees.
Along the way, I'd also like to provide some excepts from other news
reports about top corporate executives and how they are treated.
WSJ: "Domino's is willing to try all sorts of tactics to keep employees
-- except paying them significantly more."
"Top executive paychecks in 2003 were, as usual, off-the-charts amazing
chief executives ... saw their average salary, bonus, and long-term
compensation increase 9.1% last year, to $8.1 million."
WSJ: "If we had increased everybody's pay 20%, could we have moved the
needle a little bit to buy a little loyalty? Maybe, but that's not a
long-term solution," says Domino's Chief Executive Officer David A.
US Senate transcript of hearing on "Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation": "Over
the years there has been a tremendous increase in the size of
executive pay increases -- 15% to 20% annual compound growth rates ...
These pay practices, in combination with many
other factors ... were an important component in creating the successful
U.S. economic model ... Relative to the enormous economic value created by
these executives, they appear to be worth the expense." (Testimony
of Ira T. Kay, VP at human resources giant Watson Worldwide)
WSJ: "Domino's turnover crusade started in 1999 when Mr. Brandon was
CEO. His first day at Domino's, he asked about the company's turnover
rate. He was told it was 158% ... By last year, the company's overall
turnover had declined to 107%."
California Employment Development Department timeline and statistics: "By
1999, the State
reached record levels of employment and a record low unemployment rate" of
4.9 percent, compared with 5.8 percent five years later, when an extra
200,000 people were out of work. "During the first week of January (2002),
EDD filed more than 126,000 unemployment insurance claims - more claims than
any other state in history. That first week brought 1.2 million
WSJ: "Seeking a way to discipline employees without alienating them, he
bought a pair of dopey-looking, oversized black-framed glasses. They're
the 'mistake glasses' and workers have to wear them when they make
errors. The joke is that if you couldn't see what an obvious mistake you
were making, you need glasses."
Welch, former CEO of GE: ". Having been in the field, I had a strong
prejudice against most of the headquarters staff. I felt they practised
what could be called "superficial congeniality" -- pleasant on the
surface, with distrust and savagery roiling beneath it.
The phrase seems to sum up how bureaucrats typically behave, smiling in
front of you but always looking for a 'gotcha' behind your back."
WSJ: "Store managers oversee people in three entry positions: assistant
managers (who earn about $8 to $10 an hour); those who answer phones (and
earn an average of $6.15 an hour); and drivers, most of whom make minimum
wage. Drivers, who provide their own cars and gas, also get tips and an
82-cent reimbursement for each trip they make."
Press: "Carly Fiorina demanded and got a rich pay package ... Her 1999
pay included almost 1.5 million shares of stock, then valued at $65.5
million, plus a $3 million signing bonus. Since then she has piled up
millions more. And while HP's board ousted her Wednesday as chairman,
president and chief executive, she won't be leaving poor: Her severance
package is worth at least $21.1 million. ...
"What would she get if the firm had done well? A country?" asked Jeffrey
Sonnenfeld, associate dean of the Yale School of Management.
WSJ: "Hoping to pick better managers, Domino's implemented a new test.
Those seeking promotion to that job have to take a 30-minute online
evaluation of their financial skills and management style. . Do they
understand terms such as 'break even' and 'cash flow?' How would they
manage a poorly performing employee?"
"'He was just a wild man. He scared the hell out of you,' says Bruce
a former senior Home Depot executive who remains an admirer of Mr.
(Pat) Farrah," chief merchandising officer of Home Depot, who returned
after a personal bankruptcy and "10-year exile" from the firm and " has
helped re-energize the store chain, colleagues say."
"Christian van Someren ... head of global markets for Korn/Ferry
International, the world's biggest (executive) search firm ... has now
of his presidency ... Mr. van Someren got into financial problems at
(another executrive search firm,)
A.T. Kearney because 'he was basically young and irresponsible. He
couldn't pay his credit card, defaulted and declared bankruptcy.' ...
Patricia Cook, a former A.T. Kearney recruiter who supervised Mr. van
Someren, says she fired him in March 1993 after he admitted using his
corporate credit card to buy $28,000 in Christmas gifts and refused to
repay the funds. She adds that he then also owed $17,000 on a bank loan
she had guaranteed largely so he could pay other personal debts and follow
her to the firm's New York office from Denver."
James Joseph Minder, chairman of handgun maker Smith & Wesson Holding
Corp., resigned after a published report revealed he'd spent as much as 15
years in prison decades ago for armed robberies and a bank heist.
WSJ: "A few months ago, Mr. Rivas tussled with one of his drivers. The
driver called in to say he'd be late because he needed to get his brakes
fixed. Mr. Rivas was furious. The driver had been off for the previous two
days and should have fixed his brakes then, Mr. Rivas figured. He called
Mr. Cecere and told him he was ready to fire the driver."
"Fannie Mae (Research) said its ousted CEO Franklin Raines was
due to receive an annual pension of $1.37 million. He was also in line to
leave the company with $5.8 million in stock options and $8.7 million in
deferred compensation to be paid through 2020 ... The No. 1 mortgage
finance company faces an earnings restatement that may total as much as $9
billion. Fannie Mae is still under investigation by OFHEO, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department."
WSJ: "To earn a pin designating them a 'qualified
pizza maker' they must be able to make a pizza in under a minute."
Stan, Office Space: "People can get a cheeseburger anywhere, ok? They come
for the atmosphere and the attitude. That's what the flair's about.
It's about fun."
Literally hundreds of stories I wrote for the Daily Cal are now offline,
404 Not Found. Five years of back issues -- gone. It was bad enough when
UpsideToday went offline, taking another year and a half of my coverage
down with it.
I have a corpus of my own daily cal articles on my hard drive at home,
mirrored from the site long ago. I'll have to cross my fingers they are