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James J. Spanfeller serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of, a leading media Internet company, and as Executive Vice President of Electronic Publishing for Forbes, publisher of Forbes,[…]

CEO Jim Spanfeller says executive bonuses are good incentives but…

Question: What is your position on executive bonuses?

Jim Spanfeller:    Well, on the one hand, clearly, the idea that folks can’t make money by helping other people make money is crazy right, that’s the whole system revolves around rewards for a job well done.  So, executive bonuses, as a concept, we should not stamped on. However, to give bonuses to people who in fact are just the opposite and did so by taking advantage of a loop hole in the system, and in so doing hurt the system dramatically, is equally as crazy. 

I think that we have every right to be outraged over some of the bonuses that have been highlighted and brought to light, after the Merrill Lynch stuff, and AIG. On the other hand, I imagined that there are a percentage, perhaps a good percentage of those people within that group that deserves those bonuses, but there’s probably also a percentage of people in there that deserve not only no bonus; probably get fired. 

And again, it’s really hard to come in from; as a congressional committee or as the White House; although I thought the White House has a sensible reaction to this at the end of the day and try to make that determination from outside of the company.


Recorded Sep 9, 2009.