Perspective Unlimited

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Price of Failure

I watched England knock themselves out of the European Championship last week - when they needed only a draw, on home ground, gifted the first goal to the visitors, a team that had already qualified. One could not have imagined a worst manner to lose. The head coach, Steve McClaren, must undoubtedly take much of the blame. If I were to discuss his ineptitude, I could easily go on for hours. But that is not the point here.

Mr McClaren defiantly refused to resign after the debacle when it was clearly the honorable thing for him to do. At least Kevin Keegan had the integrity to admit that he was not up to the job and resigned on his own accord. Instead, Mr McClaren waited for the FA to sack him the next morning, which was a foregone conclusion.

Where is the honour, Steve?

It was later revealed that Mr McClaren stood to receive 2.5 million pounds as compensation - or more than 7 million Singapore dollars for failing to get England past a supposedly easy qualifying group. The next morning at the press conference, a reporter questioned whether financial motivations were behind his refusal to step down. He denied it of course, what else could he have said? But his almost immediate purchase of a villa in the Carribean (reportedly costing 1.9 million pounds) spoke volumes of this man - one without honour. But McClaren was not an isolated case. Sven Goran Eriksson also received a large payout for his early termination of the contract, in the region of 6,500 pounds per day over a year for not working!

Golden Parachutes

Large as these payouts seem, they are truly peanuts compared to the Golden Parachutes in the financial sector. Merill Lynch's ex CEO received an astronomical US$160 million for getting the bank into the subprime mess. Citi's Charles Prince received a mere US$42 million but it was still too many zeros in my opinion. Never mind the large salaries society awards to superstar atheletes, movie celebrities or corporate movers and shakers. How on earth can people tolerate these kinds of payout for failing is something that truly escapes me.


  • More examples - Carly of HP, Michael Ovitz etc.

    CEOs used to be paid 50-60 times the lowest paid worker in the company 20-30 years ago now they are paid 5000-10000 times. Buffett asks if they are 100 times better these days? Looking at their track record some of them are not even honest let alone competent.

    The inflation of CEO pay is one of the extreme excesses of our era. The belief that you can only get good performance with high pay ....with the numerous charity scandals occuring in Singapore, the answer according to our minister is just pay more.

    Very high pay does not bring competence, it just fuels greed...

    By Blogger LuckySingaporean, at 5:39 am  

  • I think it is ok for CEOs to be paid a lot, except that it should be tied to success isn't it? What is hard to take is when they are paid so much when they fail. Football managers too should be paid for delivering success. The kind of payout for failing completely beggars belief.

    By Blogger Bart JP, at 7:32 pm  

  • During last year election, We have a ministar who indirectly claim that his party can bring down the oil price. Till date, the oil price is still raising. He also should do the honourable thing by resigning.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:17 am  

  • Is that right? Which Minister said that? You need to give some evidence otherwise it is defamation!

    By Blogger Bart JP, at 10:55 am  

  • I am not the anon above.

    His golden words:

    ".... Dr Ng called the WP a wayang party. "Do they have solutions? Can they bring the price of oil down?...."

    See comment posted by ted on July 22, 2007 5:28 AM

    The Today online news article link has been taken down.

    Mollymeek's post:

    Someone in the comments mentioned the same thing.

    I have read the same thing during GE2006. Some of us do follow the happenings of Singapore quite closely. I remembered GE 2006 and saw the ugly side of things. There are no bed of roses.

    I hope that the above people do not get defamation suits soon.

    Mr Ng Hen Eng implied that he can bring the price of oil down when elected.

    I wonder that if you have the resources to retrieve that article to verify it yourself. If possible, can you post the article on your blog for future reference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 pm  

  • Anon 2.27

    The statement does not implied that the OP can be brought down, it just says that other solutions would be sought.

    By Anonymous WANG, at 4:00 am  

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