OK, I have to comment on this. It’s all about trust, you know. When the taxpayers are moaning and groaning about huge government bailouts of private companies and fearing greatly that the big time executives will just run off with multi-millions of taxpayer dollars, it is really really really stupid to do anything like this retreat. Oh, I’m sure it was planned well in advance. And it is an incentive tool I’m sure for high producers. And they probably deserve the kind of luxury treatment for their outstanding performance. Doesn’t matter one whit. The only smart thing to do under the circumstance would be to kill it, delay it or find some other way to recognize the performance.
Did they think no one would notice? Did they think no one would care? It’s about transparency folks. You can’t hide in this environment, you can’t do things to violate the public trust. I’ve been saying for some time we live in a time of public franchise–the public ultimately gets to decide if you deserve to stay in business. But when the public, as in taxpayer, now has bailed you out, or owns stock in you, the day of public franchise has just gotten a whole lot more intense. Could be a good time for crisis managers and reputation management experts.