I'm not a big believer in New Year's resolutions.
While well-intentioned, experience has shown me that they often enjoy the shelf-life of unpasteurized milk.
As an example, on New Year's Day, how many people in your respective neighborhoods do you see either walking or running, many of them for the first time? And what percentage of them are still at it after a month?
Along the same lines, health clubs see a tremendous spike in memberships come January, but by April, most of those new membership cards are now entwined in cobwebs or safely tucked away in a bottom drawer.
How about those who each year vow to get organized? Me included.
That stampede of people into Staples, or Office Depot shortly after Jan. 1, will, by June 1, be again immersed in a sea of paper.
Even corporations make resolves for the new year. albeit those are usually required to last somewhat longer than a short-lived inspiration.
For instance, Disney, which lately has been kicked around more than a soccer ball at Wembley Stadium, recently decided that it will now tie part of its executive compensation packages to, get this, performance.
Just as many of you were about to enroll in the Michael Ovitz School of Management Compensation, the entertainment conglomerate said going forward, its executives will have some of their stock benefits subject to performance.
Disney's new stock policy comes on the heels of a shareholder lawsuit over the company's existing compensation guidelines that resulted in former company president Ovitz receiving a severance package of cash and options valued at $140 million after serving in that capacity just 14 months.
Basically it would work like this: About 60 percent of stock grants to its senior-level executives will come in the form of restricted stock units with the remainder in stock options.
Half of said restricted stock units would then be subject to vesting based on Disney's "total shareholder return," and whether it exceeds that of the S&P 500 Index over a specified time period.
Disney also said its top five officers will now have to acquire and hold Disney stock equal in value to anywhere from three to five times their base salaries.
The new comp plan also requires the company's top officers to hold shares representing a large portion of their gains for at least 12 months after exercising options.
Hmmm. Basing an executive compensation plan on performance? Now that's out-of-the-box thinking!
I wonder why General Motors didn't have a similar plan in place for its former chairman, Roger Smith when, on his watch, the company managed to lose $4 billion. Somehow, Smith still received a bonus and as a result, we have him to thank for launching the career of that overstuffed ego known as Michael Moore.
Speaking of resolutions, I'm resolved this year without fail to talk to my boss and see if I can get an Ovitz-like compensation package before anyone catches on.
The likelihood of that happening should fall somewhere between
me getting organized and Michael Moore honoring a lifetime health club membership.
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