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Outsource the CEOs



April 1, 2004 — As veteran corporate accountability activists, we both have spent years challenging big business to be more responsive to the needs of workers, communities, and the environment. We have picketed outside corporate headquarters, organized sit-ins, sponsored shareholder resolutions and bird-dogged company executives. When it comes to pressuring Corporate America, we’ve done it as much as anyone.


 


But the protesting thing is getting old. We figure it’s time to give up our placards and trade them in for some PowerPoint presentations. We’ve decided to drop our commitment to advocacy and adopt a more lucrative career — consulting.


 


With long histories as gadflies, we bring a unique perspective to business consulting. Since we’ve never been inside the box, we think outside the box as a matter of course. Our unique point of view can provide shareholders and management with solutions that will dramatically cut costs and raise revenues.


 


In this era of ruthless of competition, we deliver ideas that will boost a company’s earnings and productivity. We can show you how, by firing a single individual, you can save millions of dollars. We show you how to outsource your CEO.


 


In recent years, hundreds of U.S. companies have generated significant savings by sending high-skilled, well-paid positions to countries such as Singapore, India and the Czech Republic. The economics are clear: If a job can be done equally well somewhere else for less money, then it should be sent abroad. Our consulting firm takes this concept to the next logical step by outsourcing all the way to the top of the corporate ladder.


 


Why not? After all, equally skilled and experienced chief executives in Europe and Asia earn a fraction of what U.S. executives take home. The average chief of a major U.S. company receives $10.83 million in compensation per year. The typical CEO in Europe receives about $2.7 million. Japanese CEOs are a downright bargain: Your company can expect to pay as little as $300,000 to $500,000 per year for an executive based there, with year-end bonuses averaging just 10 percent. Even if you exclude the value of stock options and bonuses — which account for the bulk of American CEO pay — CEOs in the U.S. on average receive twice as much as executives in other industrialized nations.


 


The prospective savings to your company’s shareholders are immense. You get the same quality of corporate leadership, but at a much more reasonable price. Goodbye Michael Eisner, hello Gunter Thielen and Nobuyuki Idei.


 


We understand that your company may be concerned that off-shoring the CEO could impact performance. That’s why we have a Two-for-One Plan. For the same salary you pay one American CEO, you can get a CEO in Europe and one in Asia. By having an executive on each side of the globe, you get uninterrupted service, corporate management around the clock. Instead of putting your back office in Bangalore, you put your front office in Berlin and Tokyo.


 


The benefits to your company go beyond cost savings alone. When you offshore the boss, you get rid of the person that hourly workers and management employees alike love to hate. Just think how it will boost worker morale to see the CEO booted out the door. The resulting increases in worker productivity will pleasantly surprise you.


 


What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If it makes sense to increase profits by outsourcing skilled labor, let’s save big money by outsourcing the most uncompetitive worker in the U.S. corporate hierarchy — the CEO.


 


Jason Mark and Kevin Danaher are the authors of ‘Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power’ (Routledge, 2003). They work for the human rights organization Global Exchange.


 

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