Beechcraft Execs Want Bonuses
I try to avoid going through life in a state of being constantly torqued off but being a journalist and all, that's sometimes difficult. Fortunately, my always-sunny personality sees me through. Still, there are daily tests.
One of my e-mail correspondents sent along this news link describing how Hawker Beechcraft executives, having piloted the company into bankruptcy, are now asking the court to approve bonuses of up to $5.3 million. My friend asked if I found this as offensive as he does or is there some way of defending it. (I'm trying to be restrained here.)
I can't think of a single means to defend this sort of practice, other than it has become common in American business. Executives of some companies—and that's certainly not all of them—negotiate these sweet deals, toothless boards rubber stamp them and they seem to honestly expect that it should be considered normal to be paid a bonus after riding a company over a cliff. Perhaps one defense is that the train wreck would have been far worse without exceptional executive skill, the least-worst defense.
The reality appears to be that Hawker Beechcraft got itself loaded with debt, struggled in the downturn and lacked the resources to survive, so it looks like it now goes off to China, perhaps parted out like an old King Air with tapped out engines. Speaking of which, in a galactically annoying coincidence the next day, I got a text from a Chinese national I know who snapped a photo of the Chinese flag flying over a Cirrus service center with this message: "The financial hardship of one industry turns it into a feeding ground for another country's economic and technological ambition. This flag will soon fly over Wichita. The migration of this curious red dot through the veins and arteries of the GA industry will drastically alter its landscape in the not too distant future."
It's trash talk, of course. But if there's any truth to it, its HBC's mismanagement that made it so.