Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
This has been a great week for the merchants of hate that peddle politics of envy. Just look at the headlines:
* McKesson CEO lump sum retirement package worth $159.0 million
* CEO pay +37% since 2009 to $14.1 million or 273 times average worker pay
* Queen Elizabeth gets 5% pay raise to $58.0 million next year
Of course America's media is working too hard trying not to report the spat of scandals or trying to gloss them over to reach into their favorite bag of tricks. The thing is, while the knee-jerk thought would be the rich just get richer, there's a lot more to the story. Moreover, there are valuable lessons to the story that should inspire people rather than stoking to life one or more of the deadly sins. In other words, don't hate ... emulate.
In 1999 John Hammergren was elevated to co-CEO at McKesson (MCK) after it was revealed newly acquired HBOC, a medical software company, had been cooking the books. It was a major hit for the company, which lost $8.6 billion in market value on April 28, 1999, when the news broke. By 2001 Hammergren was sole CEO, and finally, in 2005, cut a deal to pay $960.0 million in cash to settle a class action lawsuit (the company had just $1.0 billion in cash on the books). The stock had been locked in a very tight trading range since collapsing a few years earlier, broke out through $40.00 on the news, and has barely looked back.
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