So being a guy whose gone through more than few terminations in my career (some self inflicted, some unjustified, some just silly, all were painful and permanent) I never like to see a person get turned loose. I am also sympathetic to the severance or exit package. I’ve had a few good ones. When I was fired from WKQX, NBC had 13 week clauses in all our contracts and each 13 week clause had an 8 week window in which if you were fired they only paid you til the end of that 13 week cycle, but if they missed the window you’d be paid for the next 13 weeks as well. Yep, you guessed it, they missed the window!! I was having lunch a few weeks later, in early March, with Tom Hoyt the President of The Heftel Corp. who had just bought the Loop and my friend Les Elias who was the new General Manager. I was going to work for them. Tom ask what I’d been doing and I said I just taught Terri Hemmert’s class at Columbia College on “profiles of a disc jockey” but I tossed in that I called it profiles of an unemployed disc jockey. Tom said “son you’re not unemployed, we started paying you the day we took over The Loop on March 6th.” I was under the impression we wouldn’t start to get paid till we went on the air March 19th about 10 days hence. So I asked if they would be needing me to be around for the next week or so. Tom and Les said no so I called my girl friend and said book us a flight to Florida. The next day I’m on the beach with NBC paying me and The Loop paying me. Life was good that day!
Now, I bring this up because I saw the separation package for Former McDonald’s CEO Stephen Easterbrook. He is getting an exit package of almost $42 million after his relationship with an employee was found to violate company policy. The size of his compensation puts a new focus on the widening gap between the pay at the top and the bottom of the corporate ladder.
According to an analysis by executive-compensation experts at Equilar, Easterbrook’s exit package totals $41.8 million, which includes six months of severance pay, shares he can cash out in the future and other equity. And that amount is in addition to $23.8 million in stock options that Easterbrook can exercise now.
McDonald’s latest disclosures show that in 2018, Easterbrook made $15.9 million. That’s 2,124 times more than the median income of a McDonald’s employee a part-time crew member working in Hungary. According to Glassdoor a U.S. crew member at McDonald’s makes an average of $9 an hour.
He knew it was wrong to fraternize with another employee and I’m sure he knew he’d get a nice package if he was to leave. It’ll be interesting to see where he lands and maybe had he been looking there before he left of course with that stack o chips he might just go buy an island and work on his tan.
Your thoughts on income disparity or on nice packages?