COMPENSATION: Tin Parachutes For Little Folk

Tin Parachutes For Little Folk

In recent years many companies have protected their top executives with golden parachutes -- those infamously generous severance packages, sometimes running to millions of dollars, guaranteed in a hostile takeover. Now, more and more firms are offering similar, if more modest, payoffs to their rank and file who might lose their jobs in a takeover. Dubbed "tin parachutes," the payments sometimes reach 250% of an employee's annual salary. Webb Bassick, a partner at Hewitt Associates, a consulting firm, estimates that as many as 15% of all large public companies have such packages. Among them are Mobil, America West Airlines and Diamond...

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