Rolling Back Executive Pay

Taking a cue from President Clinton, opponents of excessive corporate salaries grow emboldened

To hear Silicon Graphics president Edward McCracken tell it, taking away the executive's most prized form of compensation -- stock options -- would be nothing less than a disaster for American business. High-tech companies, like his computer-manufacturing firm, would be unable to recruit top engineers and software programmers, warns McCracken. They would then lose their competitive edge. "The next thing you know," he says, "the Japanese would be taking over, and all of Silicon Valley would be at risk."

That, in a nutshell, is the view of corporate America, which continues to cling to its massive compensation packages in spite of...

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