Outrage: Bonus Paid To Kodak CEO Antonio Perez

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If you think that ‘ridiculous bonuses’ are limited to Wall Street, think again.  We have always worried about a bonus even being called a bonus, but this one truly is frivolous and is going to one guy that does not deserve this bonus at all.  Kodak Co. (NASDAQOTH: EKDKQ.PK) Chairman & CEO Antonio Perez has somehow been allowed to stay on in management years and years longer than he should have been.  Now Mr. Perez is getting a bonus tied to financial performance, according to Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review.  Wait a minute, what financial performance?

Here is some food for thought, whatever the logic is behind a bankruptcy judge approving this: Antonio’s Perez never reacted fast enough to anything along the way and he led the stock into bankruptcy under his multi-year tenure and strategy.  The structure and exact payment terms are still not entirely out so we do not know how much of this $4.5 million that Dow Jones referred to for Perez and his group of managers.  Frankly, no one should care what portion of it goes to Mr. Perez other than that some of it is going to him.  One single penny is too much to be paid to Antonio Perez.

Last week came Kodak’s earnings, ergo losses, and the tally was almost $300 million after huge restructuring charges. The long-awaited patent auction is supposedly coming this week (or very soon) and we already have known that the bidders will include Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and others. It is this patent sale which will pay creditors and offer whatever capital Kodak will have left when it relaunches outside of bankruptcy later this year.

Kodak shares are at $0.57 and the 52-week trading range is $0.14 to $3.44.

We politely called out Antonio Perez out as a CEO that needed to be fired from Corporate America back at the end of 2006.  We even noted that Perez was supposed to be nice but the wrong guy for the job.  After the company kept Perez on longer, we got nastier because Perez wasn’t qualified to turn around the ship he was given to turn around.  Antonio Perez was obviously the wrong guy to run Kodak and that was evident long before the recession. He finally led the company into bankruptcy and this guy is still somehow in charge.  And now he is getting a bonus?

The only bonus that Antonio Perez should be getting at this point is a dunce hat.

If Main Street doesn’t go after Antonio’s bonus here, then the double-standard between Main Street and Wall Street really has gone too far.

JON C. OGG