Editorials and commentaries


Aug 20, 2002
McClellan''s article points out something I''ve been trying to tell you guys - Carty''s underpaid. Just look at the Tenet CEO....

Jesuits set example on how to treat our corporate scoundrels
By Bill McClellan

Ah, the Jesuits. Leading by example. Reminding poor sinners like myself about the folly of casting the first stone. Yet I am but a humble newspaper columnist, whose job consists of throwing stones here and there.

In this very space Monday, I lobbed stones at Donald Carty and Jeffrey Barbakow. Carty is the big boss of American Airlines. Barbakow heads Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Jesuits set example on how to treat our corporate scoundrels
Chicago Tribune

Carty breaking new ground in CEO cynicismDavid Greising

April 23, 2003

Contrition and coercion don't mix well. But that's precisely what American Airlines chief Don Carty offered when he stepped to a lectern this week to apologize for his misdeeds.

Carty was contrite about his act of subterfuge and self-enrichment. He concealed that his top couple dozen executives had received double-your-pay bonuses and a special bankruptcy-proof pension program. All while American's unions had voted narrowly to approve $1.8 billion in concessions to avert bankruptcy.

CEOs You Don't Want in the Cockpit

By Harold Meyerson

Tuesday, April 22, 2003; Page A19

It's a good thing that Donald J. Carty, the chairman and chief executive of American Airlines, doesn't also pilot one of its planes. If he did, and if the plane went into an uncontrolled dive and he handled it the same way he's running the company, he'd bail out as the plane fell to earth, drift dreamily down on a golden parachute, land lightly amid the carnage and give himself a nice cash bonus for coming through unscathed.
Over the past week it has become clear that Carty has engaged in the same kind of double-dealing, to conceal the same kind of double standards, that last year made his fellow Texan and CEO Ken Lay a household name.
While Carty was convincing American's pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and baggage handlers that they had to accept major pay cuts (ranging from 15.6 percent to 23 percent, and kicking in on May 1) if the airline was to avoid bankruptcy, he was secretly crafting a "retention bonus" for American's top seven executives that would reward them for staying at their posts until 2005. The bonuses, all but one set at twice these executives' annual salaries (Carty's would total $1.6 million), weren't keyed to performance -- a prudent proviso, because American lost $5.3 billion in 2001-02 and things aren't exactly looking up yet. Instead, they seem to derive from the maxim of business guru Woody Allen, who once noted that 90 percent of life is just showing up. Carty's corollary is that if you run the company, just being there can be grounds for doubling your pay so long as nobody's on to you.

The Motley Fool

American Airlines parent AMR had asked for, and gotten, concessions from its key unions of about $1.8 billion in total salary reductions in order to stave off bankruptcy. Meanwhile, AMR's directors had approved retention bonuses and a protected pension plan for executives. Unions may have no choice but to go through with the salary reductions, because bankruptcy promises even more pain. Shareholders, though, don't need to stick around at all.

By Bill Mann (TMF Otter)
April 23, 2003

Dear AMR shareholders:
Sell. Get out. Go away. You're not dealing with a company. You're dealing with a three-card monte table in Times Square.
I'm not saying you can't win. I am saying that you won't win. The latest flap about dealings by executives essentially assures that. There will be no more cooperation between American Airlines parent AMR's (NYSE: AMR) unions and its management.
On Monday, CEO Don Carty apologized for his "recent mistakes in judgment." The apology is fine, but what we have here is not a case of recent mistakes in judgment. What we have here are deep character flaws in the executive team at AMR, ones that were both tolerated and encouraged by a non-interventionist board. Essentially, far from "aligning management interests with shareholders," actions by management ensured that they got theirs, whether or not shareholders, employees, or anyone else received anything.

From The Washington Dispatch
Ethics At American Airlines Wanes At Elevation
Exclusive commentary by Frank Slavato

Apr 22, 2003

Under the pressure of a looming bankruptcy the employees at American Airlines had agreed to massive wage cuts and benefit reductions in order to avert an action that could effectively cost them their jobs and then rescinded the offer when they found out that at the same time the company's CEO was slated to receive a million dollar plus bonus this year on top of his annual salary of over $800,000. It was further revealed that as the rank and file of American resigned themselves to the fact that their paychecks would be reduced by a third, the upper echelons of the corporation would not be sharing the burden in kind. This has since been rectified in the glare of the media’s attention but it is quite clear that there is a gross inequity at American Airlines if not throughout all the corporations of the United States.

With the recent debacles at Enron and WorldCom still fresh in our memories it may come as no shock and we may have very well become numb to the fact that some executives of our top companies here in the United States practice managerial styles that shield them from the economic environments of their industries markets. Whether we have become indifferent to this fact or not it still doesn’t lessen the inequity of the situation and quite frankly, it validates the view the American people are starting to see these people in: selfish, me-first, narcissistic and aristocratic.

Molly Ivins also weighed in on ''the Don'' today. Put him right up there with her other favorite whipping boys, Rummy and Cheney. Sorry, don''t have a link.
To avoid any copyright issues, please don''t post the entire article. The link will be fine.

How come The Arizona Republic hasn't chimed in on this?

Oh, I forgot. They're too busy conspiring with the governor to rename every mountain peak in the state!
Ah, yes, Newsday, the paragon of journalism.

Too bad they couldn''t even get through the first paragraph without a falsehood.

Molly Ivins
Creators Syndicate

The dipstick awards
No shortage of nominees -- what were they thinking?

-- American Airlines' executive team wins Boneheads of the Month. The same day -- same day -- American's flight attendants followed its mechanics and pilots in voting to give back hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and benefits to keep the company out of bankruptcy, American revealed it had given huge bonuses to six top executives, presumably for their stellar work in driving the company to the edge of bankruptcy. American also provided millions more in extra pension benefits for 45 top executives.

For the complete article, click here: [url="http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=14874"]http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=14874[/URL]
On 4/24/2003 12:46:28 PM Wretched Wrench wrote:

What falsehood was in the first paragrph?


What actually happened on the PVR flight was spelled out in discussions on this board back at the time it occurred. I don''t have the time at the moment to rehash it.


Marie Cocco

Airline Execs Fly High as Workers Nosedive

April 24, 2003

Average Joes give up vacation days to spare the plunging corporate craft while the CEO's family flies on a Valentine's Day junket to Mexico, bumping paying passengers whose fares keep the company aloft.

The corporation is supposed to file tell-all documents about executive pay with regulators, but wins an extension on detailing new pay and perks so they're not revealed until after the suckers in the unions have voted to trim their own paychecks by as much as 23 percent. Management had insisted that giving back money that pays the mortgage was better for workers than throwing their jobs on the mercy of the bankruptcy court.

No, this isn't the latest Michael Moore movie.

For the complete article, click here: [url="http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-vpcoc243251247apr24.story"]http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-vpc...1247apr24.story[/URL]
On 4/24/2003 1:32:07 PM WXGuesser wrote:

On 4/24/2003 12:46:28 PM Wretched Wrench wrote:

What falsehood was in the first paragrph?


What actually happened on the PVR flight was spelled out in discussions on this board back at the time it occurred. I don''t have the time at the moment to rehash it.


No one will ever agree on exactly what happened. Carty may not even know exactly what transpired on his trip to PVR.

Count me among those who couldn''t care less if the CEO bumped paying pax. It''s a nonissue to me.

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