The Real Risk of Working at a Startup

Fred WhittleseyCompensation Expert Witness Blog, Conscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Effective Equity: The Equity Compensation Blog

  When we think of working at a startup, we might imagine a lower base salary, no annual bonus, sparse benefits, and lots of equity – usually stock options.  Most realize that equity is a highly risky form of compensation and few startups ever make it to the IPO, another small number get acquired (at a much lower multiple than … Read More

Compensation Integrity: What the Heck is Going On?

Fred WhittleseyCompensation Expert Witness Blog, Conscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog

Fred Whittlesey Compensation Venture Group, SPC An update on this continuing theme. Disney will pay $38 million in back wages after feds allege wage and hour violations Wouldn’t it be better to have competent compensation professionals who have the “spine” to stand up to senior management and ensure compliance?  It shouldn’t take a judge to know the right thing to do. Conscious … Read More

How much is turnover costing your company?

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog

  Fred Whittlesey Compensation Venture Group, SPC   Since the 1980s there has been an empirically validated methodology for calculating employee turnover cost. The concept of human resource accounting, created by Eric Flamholtz, Professor at UCLA Anderson business school, includes detailed approaches for determining these costs. I had the honor, as an MBA student, of working with Dr. Flamholtz on … Read More

Microsoft battles decision on “joint employer” status

Fred WhittleseyCompensation Expert Witness Blog, Conscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog

  Back in March 2015 I blogged about Microsoft’s new policy of requiring its US suppliers to provide their employees with 15 days of paid time off. I took issue with this approach to changing compensation practices in the name of “corporate social responsibility” as I don’t agree that a company should be telling its suppliers how to compensate their employees. … Read More

Conscious Compensation® Principles: Not transaction-dependent or exit dependent

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog

  One of the sources of extremely high pay to CEOs and other executives has been the compensation resulting from a “change in control” – when the company is acquired by another company, and several layers of cash and equity compensation are paid out at the time of the transaction. These payments may result merely from the transaction occurring (a … Read More

Conscious Compensation® Principles: Equitable, But Not Always Equal

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Uncategorized

  This week, the White House posted “These Businesses Are Taking The Equal Pay Pledge” listing 28 companies that have done so. The blog post opens with, and some companies repeat, the misleading datapoint that “the typical woman working full-time all year in the United States earned only 79 percent of what the typical man earned working full-time all year.” One company, Glassdoor, … Read More

Leading the List of Cool Executive Perks…

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog

  A story published by AP today, based on its direct investigations, tells the story of a water district executive in California who received a $1.4 million loan, in connection with his hiring, to purchase a home.  Years later he left that employer, but has yet to repay the loan. And still has the home.  And another one in Pebble Beach. … Read More

There’s More to the Chobani Story Than Equity

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog

  This week’s headline-of-the week in equity compensation and human resources circles is the story of the founder of Chobani (the yogurt company) granting shares to all 2,000 employees of the company.  This headline arrives timely in the midst of the presidential election themes of income inequality and various pay “gaps” (i.e., the purported “gender pay gap“); the looming public … Read More

Conscious Compensation® Principles: Easy to Understand for All Stakeholders

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog

  One of the twelve principles of Conscious Compensation®, as they stand today (and are continually evolving) is that compensation should be “easy to understand for all stakeholders”: No compensation program should be so complex that stakeholders with a typical level of business knowledge are unable to understand the program.  Bankers, suppliers, customers, and employees all receive compensation from their … Read More