US hi-tech bosses, chief executives in particular, are under scrutiny as never before, with news organisations unearthing all sorts of interesting perks that no line worker would ever receive.
For instance, half of Silicon Valley's biggest 150 companies have lent tens of millions of dollars to top bosses, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
E*Trade alone reported nearly $91m in loans and related compensation to help 10 insiders buy homes, acquire stock or weather stock market volatility after 11 September.
A total of $57.1m went to its chief executive, Christos Cotsakos. But money alone wasn't enough; Cotsakos had tuition and flights to London paid for by the company as well as a security system for his house.
And for reasons unknown, former E*Trade president Jerry Gramaglia had a trash compactor, a garage door opener and a refrigerator written into his contract. That's beside a $2m loan, of course.
Business magazine Fortune has revealed that former Global Crossing chief executive Robert Annunziata got a Mercedes Benz SL500, a corporate jet for commuting until he moved near the company's headquarters, and first class airfares for his family, including his mother, to visit him once a week.
Loans to executives, which the Bush administration is trying to ban, were identified as the major perk.
Of 70 companies in Silicon Valley with active loans, 40 per cent forgave at least part of a loan to an executive, and 21 per cent waived interest payments or charged no interest at all.
Other big lenders were Intuit ($11.2m to six executives) and Maxtor ($9.3m to 11 executives).
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