I thought a bonus was a reward for good performance?


SJ Murky News:

Solyndra executives collected hefty bonuses in months before Fremont company filed for bankruptcy

Senior executives at Solyndra collected hefty bonuses — ranging from $37,000 to $60,000 apiece — as the Fremont company bled cash and careened toward bankruptcy this summer.

Bankruptcy documents filed in Delaware earlier this week reveal that more than a dozen senior executives at the defunct solar manufacturing company were awarded sizable quarterly bonuses April 15 and again July 8. Solyndra ceased operations in late August and filed for bankruptcy Sept. 6. About 1,100 employees were laid off without severance pay.

The bonuses, awarded to more than a dozen executives, came on top of what were already highly competitive salaries. Karen Alter, Solyndra’s vice president of marketing, had an annual base salary of $275,000; she was awarded a $55,000 bonus in April and again in July. Ben Bierman, Solyndra’s executive vice president of operations and engineering, had an annual base salary of $300,000; he was awarded $60,000 in April and again in July. Will Stover, the company’s chief financial officer, was also awarded a $60,000 bonus in April and again in July.

But wait! There’s more!

But a former Solyndra employee, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, said the bonuses were put in place in an effort to retain talent at Solyndra, which suffered from enormously high turnover during its five years in operation.

“There was a retention bonus to keep people until July since turnover was around 30 to 45 percent,” the former employee said. The former employee said he believes the retention packages began in late 2010 under Brian Harrison, who was named CEO in July 2010.

Jason Kilborn, a resident scholar at the American Bankruptcy Institute, said Wednesday that the payments to Solyndra executives could have been standard practice, since quarterly bonuses are a common form of executive compensation. He also said they could be retention bonuses.

“It’s not uncommon for companies facing serious financial distress to say ‘we need you now more than ever, will you agree to stay?’ ” Kilborn said.

Retain talent? The only talent at Solyndra was the amazing ability to hemorrhage money.

Why would a company that is steadily losing money in vast quantities be paying any bonuses at all? A bonus is a reward for good performance and the company was failing.

Which reminds me – where did all that money go anyway?

(via Hot Air)

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13 Responses to I thought a bonus was a reward for good performance?

  1. Mary says:

    Speaking of bonuses……

    Fannie & Freddie executives were paid $13 million in bonuses in 2010 (even thought F&F owe taxpayers $141 billion).

    WH spokesman Jay Carney says the agencies are “independent” agences, so there is nothing the Obama administration can do to decrease or cancel any bonuses there.

    Uh huh.

  2. DeniseVB says:

    In the meantime the GOP candidates are behaving like Larry, Moe and Curly, Obama’s union friends are shutting down a city while their mayor cowers under her desk. Bloomberg likes his bread buttered on both sides and the remainder of my dem friends have called me a right wing-nut for daring question their Utopia. Gack. /rant.

  3. Lulu says:

    Some do offer bonuses when businesses are going down the crapper or in legal trouble. They fail to mention that most smarties are already looking for their exit job and decline them because they do not want to list a dead horse on their resume. You have to know when to jump. You think these nitwits are getting many call backs after working for SOLYNDRA. If the turnover rate was that high in this economy this company has been a zombie for a long time and everyone there knew it.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    Sigh. Tea Party cranking up …..

  5. votermom says:

    OT: Remember I posted a link to an article yesterday that had Cain saying that Perry’s campaign, specifically Curt Andersen, was behind the sexual harassment leak?
    Now the Cain campaign is walking that back.
    Sheese. Blaming someone and then literally the next day saying oops, never mind – that is a game that really pisses me off.

    Herman Cain’s chief of staff on Thursday walked back accusations that Rick Perry’s campaign was responsible for the leak of accusations of sexual harassment, saying that he would “accept” the claim by a former staffer now affiliated with the Perry campaign that he was not behind them.

    “Until we get all the facts, I’m just going to say that we accept what Mr. Anderson has said, and we want to move on with the campaign,” Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, said on Fox News.

  6. HELENK says:

    this is off topic


    this would have given the right to lie


  7. HELENK says:

    also freddie and fannie lost 6 BILLION and now want more money


  8. yttik says:

    The Gov is absolutely fabulous at losing money. In my state they have a monopoly on the liquor business because it’s actually illegal for anybody in the private sector to sell it. Then they tax the crap out of it and somehow this arrangement manages to cost taxpayers money! It’s absolutely mind boggling. How in the heck do you lose money selling whiskey when you’re the only game in town? The Gov does.

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