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Solyndra Wants Bonuses For Its Employees

From the Washington Times:

Bankrupt Solyndra seeking to pay bonuses

Jim McElhatton
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

… Nearly two dozen Solyndra employees could receive bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 each under a proposal filed by Solyndra’s attorneys in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The attorneys say the extra money will add motivation at a time when workers at the solar company have little job security and more responsibilities because so many of their colleagues have been fired.

The names of the bonus-eligible employees are not disclosed in the court filings that outline the bonus proposal. None of the employees is among the so-called corporate “insiders” — top officers or members of the board of directors, records show.

The proposed bonus recipients include nine equipment engineers, six general business and finance employees and up to two information technology workers.

The biggest bonus, for $50,000, would go to a Solyndra employee whose job title is listed as a senior director with a base salary of $206,499 per year. Two senior managers stand to receive bonuses of $30,000 and $32,500.

Bankruptcy attorneys said the so-called “key employee incentive plan” aims to keep important personnel from leaving the company

Most of Solyndra’s employees were laid off last year. The company employed about 1,100 people last year. Just 84 remain. Of those who managed to avoid the mass firings, many have been scrambling to find jobs.

So why do they need so much incentive to keep working at the jobs they have?

“Within the last few months, the debtors have experienced a serious loss of personnel, which has made the continuation of the sales process in an orderly fashion more difficult,” Solyndra bankruptcy attorneys disclosed in a recent filing.

“The further loss of experienced personnel may seriously jeopardize the ongoing sales efforts and, should it continue, require the engagement of experienced consultants at a much higher cost than maintaining the existing personnel.”

The attorneys argued that the extra bonus money — ranging from 8 percent to 30 percent of the employees’ total base annual salaries — “will motivate the eligible employees to work as hard as possible” to achieve a Chapter 11 restructuring plan and sale.

The workers, often carrying a heavier load because of the layoffs, “are well aware that the clock is ticking on their employment,” the attorneys added.

Three of the employees earn less than $100,000 in base salary, and eight make $150,000 or more. The highest paid employee, eligible for the $50,000 bonus, is paid $206,499 per year

These seem to be pretty hefty salaries for a startup company with a business model that lost money on each solar panel they made.

Meanwhile, most other former employees, including several top former officials, have claims pending in the company’s bankruptcy case.

James Gibbons, a Stanford University professor who served on Solyndra’s board of directors, filed a claim for more than $140,000 last month in the bankruptcy, records show.

Another claim in the case, for $456,000, appears tied to a severance deal for the company’s founder and former chief executive, Chris Gronet…

Bankruptcy records show that some Solyndra executives received bonuses of more than $40,000 in the months before the company’s collapse

Why not?

It’s not like it’s real money. It’s from the taxpayers.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 13th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Solyndra Wants Bonuses For Its Employees”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “…will add motivation at a time when workers at the solar company have little job security and more responsibilities because so many of their colleagues have been fired.”

    One cannot begin to express all the things wrong, not only with this sentence but with the entire concept. Sure, perhaps there are those inside the company who have busted their butts to do their best in order to help this ridiculous boondoggle be a success. But one, I fear they are altruistic in their endeavor and think that such a company can actually be a success and ignore reality in all forms and two, they think they are actually entitled to some paypack for all their hard work, having never heard the expression, “The reward for hard work is hard work”.

    Little job security and more responsibility means that the company could fire them at a moment’s notice and most likely will. As for rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, one has to be able to identify when to get off, when to abandon ship. But, I’ll bet the hiring practices at Solyndra include that the interviewee be well-versed in left-wing crapola, to include having a subscription to whatever garbage algore publishes as well as drive a Prius.

    The way solar power works is that individuals power their own homes with it, and do all the things that they can afford to get off the grid. But federal subsidizing of private industry is always a bad idea. It’s been done with both successful and non-successful companies from both sides of the political spectrum but it’s hilarious to watch as this version of government thinks it can create utopia through tax dollars. However, they don’t really care if it fails anyhow, the money has been taken and they way they see it, if it’s been wasted as well, so much the better, so long as they, the politicians got a hunk of it somehow.

    But employees expecting bonuses from a failing company is simply ass-backwards. But then, they probably don’t believe that the company they work for is actually failing as, for all intents and purposes, the propping up with tax dollars prevents seeing the obvious. Execs still go to the high-dollar lunches with pals, the phones still work and “orders” keep coming in for more production, right? Sher…ok…uh-huh. Keep living in la-la land and the sudden vilolent wakeup is going to be ugly.

    • yadayada says:

      “the sudden vilolent wakeup is going to be ugly.”

      if they’re pulling down $100k+ salaries at a company they know is already dead in the water, believe me they have new jobs lined up already. there will be no sudden or violent awakening, they’ve already hit the snooze button a few times, woke up and (according to this article) are even now filing the court papers to have breakfast served to them in bed.

  2. BigOil says:

    Barry now has a title for his third book “The Audacity of Green Energy”.

  3. preparing4theworst says:

    Why am I not surprised??

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