Skip to main content

Do I Look Like I'm Negotiating?

  • Author:
  • Updated:

First off, in case any of you were unaware, our stance regarding "say on pay" is that no CEO should ever allow him or herself to be roped into such a demeaning situation. You might as well work on commission. We don't even think anyone should entertain a discussion on the matter. The board either believes in you 100 percent or not at all. Unfortunately, sometimes the snakes known as your shareholders trick you into walking into the room under the guise of bagels and lox, and them bam! they surround you, and start demanding your compensation be tied to performance. This happened to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein yesterday. He handled it all wrong.
Blankfein told shareholders pushing for a "lid on excessive pay" at GS's annual meeting that he was very concerned about the company adopting the proposal, as it would “create a feedback loop. It would create a cloud, a constraint, a limitation on decisions that have been at the heart of what a board has done." The whole thing was said to be very impassioned and that at several moments, one could detect a slight cracking in Blankfein's voice. Huge mistake. Obviously Blankfein, who was paid $70 million last year would like to keep himself in the lifestyle he's become accustomed to. But as the CEO on Wall Street who's fucked up the least in recent memory, he should be playing it cool. He should've walked in there and said "I am Lloyd fucking Blankfein. There will be no say on my pay. In fact, bitches, just because you have offended me, I want my 2008 bonus package to be determined today. $100 million. That's right, a unit, baby." Then dropped the mic and walked off. And you know what? They would've said okay. You want say on pay, I have two words for you, people: Jimmy Cayne. I hear he's looking for work, and will agree to just about anything.
Goldman Chief Says ‘Say on Pay’ Would Be Damaging [DealBook]