Monday, April 09, 2007

$400 Million Salary: Can it be Justified?

On April 9, 2007, there was a headline posted on, the Internet site of Fortune magazine:
Occidental boss took home $400 million in 2006
CEO nets one of the biggest paychecks in corporate history: most from stock options accumulated over last decade
Another report, this one by the Detroit Free Press, estimates that gas prices are expected to go even higher in the coming weeks and months, to as much as $3.00 per gallon. Personally, I think this estimate of $3.00 per gallon is rather conservative, not only based on the volatility of world events, but on the culture of greed so profoundly personified by corporate executives with the sole intention of self-enrichment.

Most of us would agree that capitalism is a positive element of America society, yet such extreme compensation to one individual, CEO or otherwise, smacks of inappropriateness. While the average American struggles for financial survival, the exorbitant price of gas threatens to push him and/or her over the edge.

So I find myself asking

"How many dedicated, hard working employees of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation are feeling the financial challenge of everyday life while their leader, CEO Ray Irani receives a 2006 payout of $400 million?"
Mr. Irani, would you kindly share your thoughts on this for America and please look us straight in the eye as you attempt to justify this?


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