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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 22, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Executive pay

What do CEOs do with all that dough?

Your article [“Northwest CEOs’ paychecks shrank last year,” page one, June 21] caused me to think about a perceived perspective of compensation.

The pay ranging from $3.5 to $13 million is given these CEOs by their companies’ board of directors as compensation for their judgment and skill in making decisions that determine the direction of these companies, which in turn affects thousands of employees, property ownership and product development and sales.

The value of these decisions is reflected by the continuing success or failure of the company over time. Therefore, big responsibilities require big pay.

However, to put these large numbers in a common perspective, in my 40 years of active employment I’ve been able to put four children through college with the help of scholarships and their employment, pay for my former wife’s master’s and doctorate degrees, maintain my payment schedule on a four-bedroom waterfront home and drive a Lexus — all this on a lifetime income to date of less than $2 million, with some left over to vacation in Mexico, France and the Caribbean.

My only question is: “What do they do with all that money?”

— James R. Hochstein, Bremerton

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