Retail giant Sears filed for bankruptcy back in October of this year. The company claimed $2 billion in losses. According to Chicago local CBS affiliate, shortly after filing for bankruptcy, Sears sent employees at its many stores letters announcing that they wouldn’t be receiving severance pay due to the bankruptcy. Of course, not everyone is out of luck at Sears. The Chicago Tribune reports that a Chicago bankruptcy court has given the company the green light to pay out $25.3 million in bonuses to “top executives.”
According to the report, 19 top executives will get to split a paltry $8.4 million if the company hits its “goals,” and 315 senior employees might get the remaining $16.9 million. This means that the executives that helped to bankrupt the company in the first place will get a little less than half a million dollars apiece in holiday cheer. That should cushion the fall. It’s great to get corporate welfare!
President Trump weighed in on the Sears debacle in October, saying that the company had been mismanaged. Of course, that might have been before he realized that his treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, sat on the company’s board for about ten years leading up to his appointment to the Cabinet.
This is an important business culture to understand. The argument that Sears made in court was that it needs to be able to pay these executives nice bonuses to stick around to finish out this bankruptcy process. The logic is that these executives are hot commodities, having just helmed an enormous business failure! If the courts don’t allow them to continue to make boat payments with their bonuses, they will head elsewhere to use their special skills at bankrupting companies by draining them into the executive class!