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Transocean Execs Will Donate Hypocritical ‘Safety’ Bonuses

Transocean Execs Will Donate Hypocritical ‘Safety’ Bonuses

Last weekend, Care2 reported that Transocean Ltd. congratulated its executives for “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history,” by dolling out millions in cash bonuses and stock options.

For his commitment to safety, Transocean President and Chief Executive Officer Steven L. Newman received about $4.3 million in cash bonuses and stock and option awards. His base salary, $900,000 in 2010, will increase 22 percent to $1.1 million in 2011 (Forbes).

By contrast, the company withheld all executive bonuses for 2009 after incurring just four fatalities that year.

U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar and other government officials criticized this calloused action, which seemed to ignore the explosion and sinking of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, which killed 11 people and gushed crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 86 days last summer.

Embarassed by the public outcry against their awards, five Transocean senior executives will donate $250,000 — slightly more than a quarter of their overall bonuses — to a fund set up for the victims, the company said (Wall Street Journal).

How generous.

“The executive team made this decision because we believe it is the right thing to do,” Newman said in a press release. “Nothing is more important to Transocean than our people, and it was never our intent to diminish the effect the Macondo tragedy has had on those who lost loved ones,” Newman said. “We offer our most sincere apologies and we regret the impact this matter has had on the entire Transocean family.”

No, Mr. Newman: the right thing to do is admit that your company’s ‘lack of a safety culture‘ resulted in the worst environmental disaster in American history, poisoning the Gulf of Mexico for the forseeable future, and threatening the lives of the millions of people and animals that depend on it.

But I suppose that admission would probably have a negative impact on the entire Transocean family, so I won’t hold my breath.

Related Reading:

U.S. Files Massive Lawsuit Against Companies Responsible For Gulf Oil Spill

Gulf Oil Spill: 10 Horrifying Facts You Never Wanted To Know

Oil Spill Will Spell Trouble For Wildlife Long After It’s Stopped

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Image Credit: www.jwtoups.com

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76 comments

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11:55AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

donating a portion of their bonuses? why aren't they in jail?

8:11PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

In my ideal world, there wouldn't have been bonuses, but examination of their business practices and philosophies so that such a tragedy doesn't happen again.

My second best would have been that each of the executives receiving a bonus would have been so embarrassed/ashamed that they would have donated the entire amount to the families.

Third -- better than nothing, and actually better than expected -- is the action they did take. 5 (of how many?) executives donating 25% of their bonuses.

12:30PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I work for a cpmpany that did give us a bonus this year .. But I think the little people like me deserve a little extra.. what i got is a drop in the ocean for the buisness .. but it helped me a great deal... most of the high earners get huge ones when thye have so much already

4:27AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

thanks for the post.

6:54PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

wow. just wow. at least they donated part of it - more than i would expect honestly.

6:03PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

They donated 25% of their bonuses to the families, kept the rest.

5:03PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Don't we just love Globalisation and big Corporations?! These are BONUSES - perhaps they should be called Hypocrisy Awards. If the company had any Moral values - they wouldn't award them. If the executives had any conscience, they would donate all of their bonuses (they'll still have a lot more money than most people!)

12:42PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

On one hand, this is commendable, on the other its expected. This company has so much money to throw around, they give, what? bonuses? What about the victim's families? Oh, ya, we all remember, they dont care. Its all about having the monopoly on energy to make us pay our life away at the pump because they dont have any competition for green energy. They too will fall.

12:40PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

On one hand, this is commendable, on the other its expected. This company has so much money to throw around, they give, what? bonuses? What about the victim's families? Oh, ya, we all remember, they dont care. Its all about having the monopoly on energy to make us pay our life away at the pump because they dont have any competition for green energy. They too will fall.

12:40PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

On one hand, this is commendable, on the other its expected. This company has so much money to throw around, they give, what? bonuses? What about the victim's families? Oh, ya, we all remember, they dont care. Its all about having the monopoly on energy to make us pay our life away at the pump because they dont have any competition for green energy. They too will fall.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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