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…every corporate executive and his mother (and her mother) taking the company jet on unauthorizedish jaunts? Todd Thomson, sure, he needed some privacy a few thousand feet above ground to seduce the $Honey, that we get. But what about everyone else? Like, for instance, Applebee’s former CEO Lloyd Hill? In a letter to the chairman of Applebee’s International’s (APPB) compensation committee, CEO Douglas Conant, from Richard C. Breeden (obtained by footnoted.org), DC is informed of the error of his “free rides for everyone” ways:
On 29 occasions from April 2006 through January 2007, Applebees’s corporate aircraft flew into and out of Galveston, Texas, where former CEO Lloyd Hill happens to own a beach house. The nearest Applebees’s restaurant is more than 40 miles away. Though Mr. Hill ceased to be CEO in September 2006, company planes continue the Galveston shuttle.”
We do not believe that shareholder interests are served by turning corporate aircraft into flying limousines for senior executives’ personal vacations. Just as importantly, this practice is inconsistent with the wholesome “neighborhood values” that Applebee’s claims to embody as a company. I am quite certain that most Applebee’s customers would be shocked to find out that a portion of the cost of their meal goes to fly the former CEO back and forth to his beach house aboard a corporate plane.
Allowing someone to fly the company plane to his beach house when he doesn’t even work for the company anymore is one thing, but bucking Applebee’s “wholesome neighborhood values”? That a portion of the $9.99 that Bob Loblaw is shelling out for his Fiesta Lime Chicken™ is paying for? That is just wrong, my friend. This is why Applebee’s is on the decline.
(NB: footnoted asks in a P.S.: “Just imagine if some other folks started digging into corporate flight logs — now that would make for some interesting proxy reading. In fact, this sounds like a great wiki-project for footnoted.org readers. Anyone interested in helping to pull this together?” Obviously we’re huge fans of FN and read it daily but here’s a question—what in god’s name do you think the point of this is? Our own personal amusement?)
A day at the beach…[footnoted.org]