duck.jpgYou can’t have a quarter go by without top management in Corporate America getting bonuses, right? They expect it. And why not? They work hard to bring companies a beefy bottom line, create shareholder value, and contribute to the greater economic good.

NOT!

I got a great email from Peter Cohan, a management consultant and author of “Capital Rising” yesterday on the millions CEOs got in bonuses last year and the real value the executives that got the big pay outs provide, and it got me thinking about whether these bigwigs actually created jobs for the money they earned.

I asked Cohan and he offered to do some number crunching. The findings are not going to make you happy.

He looked at a story in the Wall Street Journal from last week that talked about CEO bonuses bouncing back:

The 50 CEOs in the sample collected a total of $126.1 million in 2010 bonuses, up from about $83 million a year earlier.

Cohan decided to look at the real return of the 12 top dogs mentioned in the piece.

Of those, he found that “the average of the 12 companies reduced employment by 0.7 percent.” And that’s during a supposed recovery.

Here’s how the companies shake out as far as job cuts, and he also designates each company to a certain category when it comes to how they did for shareholders:

Bargain CEOs who created shareholder value on the cheap;
Hogs who added shareholder value but got paid too much to do so; and
Value Destroyers who were paid big bucks to lose shareholder value.

On the job cut side:

Jacobs Engineering: 400 layoffs (HOG)
Beazer Homes: 28 layoffs (VALUE DESTROYER)
Starbucks: 5,000 layoffs (BARGAIN CEO)
Jabil Circuit: 400 layoffs (HOG)
GE: 17,000 layoffs (BARGAIN CEO)
Monsanto: 300 layoffs (VALUE DESTROYER)

On the job plus side you have:

Whirlpool that added 6 percent to its workforce (VALUE DESTROYER)
Johnson Controls that added 5.4 percent (BARGAIN)
Navistar a plus 4.5 percent (BARGAIN)
And Walt Disney with an addition of 3.5 percent to its overall workforce (HOG)

The final two, Oshkosh (VALUE DESTROYER) and Clorox (HOG), remained roughly unchanged.

So it goes to show you, you don’t always have to do much of anything to get a big payout if you have a big job.

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