September 08, 2011
Fired Yahoo! CEO Received $40 Million in 2009
According to Business Week:
Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz topped a list of executives who are paid too much for running underperforming companies, according to a report by proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co.
Bartz, who joined the company in early 2009, received $39 million last year, according to Glass Lewis, which is based in San Francisco. That was the highest compensation among executives at 25 overpaying companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Glass Lewis said today.
To determine whether the company is paying too much, Glass Lewis weighs metrics including stock price, operating cash flow and growth in per-share earnings. Much of Bartz’s compensation included options to purchase stock at prearranged prices in the event the company meets certain targets. The executive aims to combat rising competition from Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. and reverse the slump that’s left sales little changed on her watch.
“Bartz represents a problem we find at many other firms with poor pay-for-performance grades: excessive compensation awarded to executives to encourage them to join or remain with a company,” the report said.
The demeanor presented by the CEO in this interview suggests that that money was likely ill-spent.
Here's a proposal to the Yahoo! board (whom the outgoing CEO labels "doofuses"): I think I could do a better job at 1/10th the compensation. Indeed, I suggest that anyone you hire be limited to 1/10th the compensation, period--perhaps $1 million in salary, and up to $3 million in performance pay.
September 06, 2011
My New Paper: Jasmine Revolutions
My new paper, Jasmine Revolutions, responds directly to Internet Democratization Skeptics. It's forthcoming from the Cornell Law Review. Download it here. Here's the abstract:
Will the Internet help topple tyrants, or will it help further cement their control? Prominent skeptics challenge the notion that the Internet will help rid the world of dictators. They suggest that the Internet will simply serve as a new opiate of the masses, or worse, will assist autocrats in manipulating popular opinion. I defend the liberalizing promise of cyberspace. Where others have set out the value of the Internet to dissidents, I answer the main critiques of that position - that Internet activism is futile, that the Internet is simply the new opiate of the masses, and that autocrats will benefit more from the Internet than dissidents. I argue that dictators have revealed their own appraisals of the Internet: when threatened, they shut it down. Tyrants today fear the Internet more than they benefit from it. This summer’s events again confirmed this truth: On the day when the rebels marched into Tripoli, they restored Libya to the Internet.
Avoiding MickeyMouse.xxx: The Problem of the ".xxx" Domains
By introducing the new ".xxx" top level domain, ICANN has created a problem for many entities across the world. Should Chander.com worry about Chander.xxx? Should Typepad (the service I use to run this blog) worry about Typepad.xxx?
The keepers of corporate trademarks in many a law department are going to need to have an unusual conversation in the next few weeks: "What should we do about the .xxx domain?"...
But the triple-x domain isn't quite the same as the other gTLDs. And oddly enough, the one it resembles most is .edu. "It's a restricted domain name space, similar to .edu," which can only be used by educational institutions, says Larson. The new gTLD, appropriately enough, is exclusively reserved for the adult industry. And while it's good news that only companies presenting explicit content will be able to buy .xxx URLs, Larson says that "if my brand does get registered as a .xxx domain name, I can be assured it's going be related to content I don't want associated with my brand."
Because of the nature of the content headed for this new web space, the company responsible for administering .xxx has put together an unusual program to help companies protect their brands. Stuart Lawley, chief executive of ICM Registry LLC, says that in addition to the traditional "Sunrise" program that goes along with the launch of a gTLD (during which all URLs are open for application and review), ICM has put together aSunrise B to help companies block their trademarks from turning into unwelcome pornographic sites.
"Most top-level domains have run sunrises, but they mostly offered if you wanted to buy it or not," says Lawley. "Even for defensive purposes, you still had to pay the annual fees on an ongoing basis, even if you didn't want to use the domain. We were very conscious that .xxx isn't for everyone, and lots of people in the mainstream would have no use for it. So we brought about an innovative Sunrise B arrangement: once you prove you own the trademark, we take it out of circulation on a permanent basis. There's no annual fees, and we post a landing page that says it's not available for registration."