We’ve all read the articles about executive comp soaring to insane heights, and the income disparity growing. I also think there’s a growing quality of life disparity that has more to do with information than money. Some people are getting happier, more self-aware, kinder, more giving and caring with others. Others are getting angrier and angrier, toiling more, forcing more, growing more disconnected from others and the person who they want to be. I don’t know if this is a new thing, per se, but i am starting to notice it a lot more lately.
I read this article about Steve Ballmer’s 2007 compensation. He’s the CEO of Microsoft. He owns 4.3 percent of the company’s stock, and was paid $1.3 million in 2007. He did not receive additional equity compensation. As a point of reference, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was awarded $61.2 million in the same year. Ballmer’s pay is performance-based and Ellison’s is, well, NUTS. What self-respecting Board member approved that? Apparently, these guys. Oh sorry, these people (there are a whopping TWO women on the Board). Cronies! Besides, smart companies understand that talented, creative people value quality of life over money. To attract and retain the best people, they need to do more than turn them into Lords presiding over fiefdoms. They need to become environments where smart and creative people actually want to spend their time.