Before the Cheap Shots Begin - Tire Review Magazine

Before the Cheap Shots Begin

Some people will want to make a big deal about Goodyear chairman and CEO Bob Keegan’s 2008 compensation, which dropped some 50% vs. his 2007 salary and stock option income.

It is what it is, to borrow an over-used phrase. Yes, Goodyear cut 4,000 jobs last year, and is poised to cut another 5,000 this year as the economy continues to move away from the auto and tire sector. Keegan – and any other CEO – is paid what he/she is paid based on the deal they make with their company’s board of directors.

Unlike some of the Wall Street bonus babies we have learned to love, at least Keegan’s compensation ebbs and flows with Goodyear’s results. As Goodyear does well, so does he. Would anyone rather return to the “good old days” when tire company exec compensation held no relationship to performance reality?

So before anyone piles on here, tire company chiefs cut the best deals they can. Good for them. If you have a bone to pick, start picking at the boards of directors who set the levels.

Keep this in mind: no one in the tire industry is begging Congress for bailout dollars. No one here swindled billions from people. No one here paid billions in “performance bonuses” to a bunch of people who destroyed companies and lives. No one here posted obscene profits even as Americans were struggling to make ends meet. If anyone in this industry starts acting like any of those clowns, they won’t last long.

If you have comments to share, send to me at [email protected].

– Jim Smith

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