CEO actions including job cuts offensive, not their salaries
WOULD anyone have cared if Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi had been paid $2.5m a year?
I heard this thought-provoking comment as I drove home from Gladstone on Saturday night.
The argument was that it wasn't the big wage that some corporate leaders earn that others in the community find offensive, but the actions that underpin those salaries.
I found myself agreeing.
Increasingly we see in Australia's corporate world, highly paid CEOs whose job it is to streamline an organisation and that often means job cuts.
At the end of the day, returns for shareholders are the primary concern.
But is this taking us in the right direction?
Today we carry a piece where Aurizon's CEO Lance Hockridge has come under fire because he's paid a hefty salary for a role that has involved restructures and cuts.
I think leaders have to find a balance between the needs of shareholders and those of people in the exercise of their authority.
At times jobs will go, but this should always be a last resort.
I don't envy the positions of those at the helm of organisations who hold the fates of so many livelihoods in their hands.
With authority comes greater responsibility.
Both Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi were inspirational because they put people first. I for one would love to have worked for them.
But I wonder how they would have gone as CEO of a modern Australian company?