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April 02, 2008

Forsee’s golden parachute

How many times over the last several years have we been graced with the smiling countenance of Gary Forsee beaming out from the pages of The Star? And always, the article associated with the photo told of the millions in bonuses he’d received, while thousands of Sprint employees were laid off.

Forsee goes on to lead Sprint to the brink of ruin, and he was handsomely rewarded with $40 million in compensation last year and a million a year for life. Now he’s in a position to reap up to $500,000 a year from the University of Missouri.

Considering what Forsee’s management abilities did for Sprint, one wonders if the term rape isn’t more appropriate than reap. I’ll wager that as long as Sprint keeps mailing him checks he couldn’t care less about the future of Sprint or its shareholders.

The boards of directors of all corporations need to be made aware that retirement packages like Forsee’s, assumed necessary to attract and keep talented executives, are, in fact, a disincentive for performance.

Shareholders need to read their proxy statements, vote accordingly and complain to their company directors, the Securities and Exchange Commission and their representatives in Congress, if necessary. Financial abuse by corporate executives has to stop.

Greg Gerike
Olathe

I’ve been a Sprint cellular customer for more than a decade. I, too, have dealt with frustration brought on by Sprint’s customer service challenges and customer-perceived bait and switch sales tactics.

While most of my professional colleagues switched to other providers, I stayed with Sprint in support of local jobs. However, the recent disclosure of ex-CEO Gary Forsee’s golden parachute buyout is too much.

According to The Star (3/28, A-1, “Forsee walked away with $40 million, with more to come”), Mr. Forsee’s reward for flying Sprint/Nextel into the ground is an estimated $40 million payout and $1 million dollars a year for life.

While thousands of hardworking Sprint associates lose jobs, Mr. Forsee gets rewarded. I’m amazed there’s not been more public outrage. Or maybe regular folk are just numb to this corporate insanity.

Phil Swayne
Kansas City

Comments

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

What about the governments Golden Parachute? ZERO accountability.
Just looke at the State of MO and the findings by the State Auditor. Yet Gov. Blunt and the majority of the majority of the constitutency ignore the facts of fraud.
Millions of bogus arrearge dollars, no one cares?

T. Hanson

I know it is a Kansas City company, but I don't think I would loose any sleep from it going into the ground.

Sprint is as useful as a dying tree full of termites. It is time to burn it down and maybe have something better come out of it's ashes.

Chris40

Gary Forsee hoses the company but walks away with $40 million. The people still working at Sprint see no raises in 2008 and lose 5% of the work force to layoffs.

Gary Forsee is laughing himself all the way to the bank, but the Sprint Board of Directors should all be replaced immediately for richly rewarding failure and for punishing the Sprint employees and customer who still remain.

Completely indefensible.

Casady

Rightwing Nut!? Thems fightin words! Save that for Buddy and the other zealots.

Seriously, I'm not saying that Forsee is not to blame for the company's current woes. He definitely took his eye off the ball. But overall, he had a very successful tenure. Do you recall when PCS was $1.67 a share in July 2002? As for the current price of $6.49, I would buy big time. It is way undervalued.

Rogue

get the violin out for lower case....

jack

Hesse was there for what, 15 minutes before the write-off was necessary?

Sounds like the rightwingnuts and Bush. Nothing is his fault while President because every bad thing was caused by Clinton. Nothing will be his fault once he is out of office because, hey! he ain't there anymore.

Heard a figure the other day. It came from a source (don't remember which) that I think would exagerate this to the high side. But even then, it's gotta be huge. The figure was $289,000,000,000.00.

That is the figure they quoted for "bonusses" to executives of Investment Banks over the last ten years. That is how much was taken out of these companies by high level employees. The supposed "risk takers". Wonder how many have put back in one thin dime now that times are tough.

You would think this bunch could maybe get together and cover the $30,000,000,000.00 the Fed just guaranteed to Morgan.

Casady

Who is blaming employees for anything, Jack? The recent plummet in the share price was the result of writing off $30 billion in good will. That was Hesse's decision, not Forsee.

Telecom has been a rough business for the last 8 years. Clearly, VZ and T are emerging as the winners. S is not.

jack

There you go again. One more post blaming the employees for the problems of a large corporation. Yep, those employees sure made a series of bad decisions. They must have forced Sprint into bed with Nextel. They should be glad to lose their jobs and retirement so that Forsee et all can have a nice retirement package.

What's wrong with them?

Casady

First of all, I have a tough time taking any letter about about Sprint seriously when the author refers to their service as "cellular" (it's PCS which operates on a completely different Spectrum). And while Sprint is currently floundering and the synergies promised with the Nextel merger have failed to materialize, few people are aware of the shareholder value that was created between the time that Forsee became CEO in 2003 and the Embarq spin in 2006. And for those who are so quick to cite layoffs, I guess you were also lauding the company when they were hiring 300 people a week in the 1990s, right?

Rogue

Absolutley right Greg and Phil, I would cancel my Sprint service immediately and sell at once any stock I had. Then I would write the SEC to prosecute Forsee to the ends of the earth.

Yesiree Bob, that will get you guys at least another huge raise, a new car, and a trip to the islands!

Two letters today and one yesterday from whiners about someone elses accomplishments that made them "too much money" in their learned opinions.

 
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