Right now, everyone is justifiably outraged that AIG is set pay out almost $200 million in bonuses to people that made decisions that ultimately HARMED the company, all the while using government bailout money to stay afloat. I don’t understand why shareholders, theoretically semi-ordinary people like you and me, would every approve of packages like that.
The situation also reminds me of a current embarrassment in the video game world. Once-great Midway Games has been bleeding money left and right. Midway is one of the old video game companies, having been involved in the arcade business before there were video games, and releasing one of the first Pong clones. Eventually, Midway made headway with more original efforts. Midway also strengthened its porftolio by acquiring Williams and Atari Games over the years. Here are some of the series and franchises that are under Midway’s control:
NBA Jam (now named something else but I forgetted)
acquired with Atari Games:
San Francisco Rush
acquired with Williams:
Suffice it to say, Midway controls some of the most successful video game franchises in history, practically all of them introduced in the arcade. Midway has done a poor job of holding on in the home market and the results have been pretty poor. FINALLY, back to the executives thing: these executives that have run Midway into the ground have been given an opportunity to receive millions in bonuses if they can stem losses. Their solution? SELL MORTAL KOMBAT. How’s that for a lack of vision? But that’s clearly not what it’s about. It’s about getting that unearned bonus before ditching the company. So they’ll get those millions, Midway will lose Mortal Kombat and maybe have one quarter in the black and then it will be business as usual but even worse.