Out the 34,000 or so employees of Apple Inc., some of the best paid are not even technically employees!
Thats because they are, in fact, board members from outside of Apple, such as former vice-president Al Gore.
So, just how much does Apple pay these 'outsiders' for each of the five board meetings per year?
Get this, would you believe it's an astounding ..... $127,000 per meeting!
Yeah, I know what your thinking and your totally correct...... this is insane! Totally insane!
As Dan would say, "I mean think about it", we are living through one of the greatest financial crisis's of all time, a time when millions of people the globe over are losing their jobs, their homes, and the hopes of millions are vanishing into thin air, and yet these guys, and one gal, are being paid over a half-million bucks for a measly eight or ten hours of work - and that's the hours for the entire year folks!
And remember, these board members already have their own high paying jobs back at their respected companies! I mean, how many hours does it take per board meeting anyway? I'm not one of the lucky board members, so I don't really know, but I'm guessing it can't be any more than one or two hours at the most, can you? According to the Wall Street Journal, these fat cats are basically being paid to do nothing more than - absolutely nothing!
Sweet job, if you can get it, but it all seems like a big joke to me and particularly during these hard times, Apple's board compensation package seems like a big slap across the faces of all of the dedicated and hard working men and women of the world!
It's legal, of course, but I'm not too sure about the morality of it?
For one thing, not only are these fat cats getting ridiculously huge pay checks for simply for checking in, but unlike the rest of us who may be interested in getting our hands on a shiny new iPod Touch, iPhone, 27 inch iMac, or what ever, these over paid Apple board members don't have to even buy them, even though they can obviously afford it, because they have the option of receiving complementary products el-gratis!
Yes, I know that even though Apple is booming, and sales are off the charts and growing like weeds, and yes, despite the fact that Apple is flushed with the biggest cash reserves in all of the tech world, some $32-34 billion, and Apple can easily afford to pay its members what ever it wish's, that doesn't necessarily mean that they should, or that it's morally right! Especially in this pre-depression era!
As much as I love Apple , and as cool as I think that their products really are, at this particular point in history, I think that Apple is sending out the wrong message with its board compensation package. Yes, Apple, I'm sure, will naturally point out that other companies pretty much do the same, but that still doesn't make it right, and as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, only three companies, Intuitive Surgical, Nabor Industries and Apple actually pay out an astronomical $100,000 plus per board meeting!
So, in conclusion, as far as my 2 cents is concerned, Apple's board compensation package is totally wrong, ludicrous, unjustifiable and morally objectionable, and I seriously can't help but speak out against it.
However, on the other hand, when I think about it, if Apple wish's to consider adding me to their board, and they wish to also pay me the same $127,000 per meeting, then I'm pretty dang-tooting sure that I will be able to give you a hundred plus reasons on why it's not only justified, but morally aceptable, even if I have to totally fabricate as to the reasons why!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Friday, December 18, 2009
Bag of money image via: PrincipalsPage