The human factor

The human factor - So endemic has the pay-off concept become that investors are accustomed to paying large sums to executives who leave because they fancy a change.

by PATIENCE WHEATCROFT, business and City editor of The Times

So endemic has the pay-off concept become that investors are accustomed to paying large sums to executives who leave because they fancy a change.

A terrible coyness surrounds most executive departures. The chances of anyone in corporate life doing 'an Estelle' are about as likely as the prospect of the former minister being invited to lead an expedition to the north pole.

Executives go quietly, clutching as much money as they and the company deem necessary to ease the process. No matter how dire their performance or how fraught the boardroom rows, shareholders are supposed to accept the bland explanation that the personnel change is entirely amicable and no reflection of problems within the organisation.

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