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It must suck when your company announces several hundred layoffs over the last few months. It must suck when your company cancels its discount-stock-purchase program. It must suck when your expense accounts are tightened, when hiring freezes are instituted, and when you learn you'll be getting a smaller bonus than you'd hoped. And it must really suck the most when these things have happened and then you wake up one morning, as New York Times employees did today, to learn from the Observer that your company nevertheless handed out a few million bucks' worth of stock to a half-dozen or so top corporate managers.

The gifts, according to an SEC filing:

• Janet Robinson, CEO: 74,000 free shares of stock, worth about $2 million, plus $4 million in options.
• Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher: 30,000 free shares of stock, worth about $800,000, plus $4.1 million in options
• Michael Golden, vice-chairman, IHT publisher, and Sulzberger cousin: 12,000 shares, about $300,000.
• Leonard Forman, CFO: 12,000 shares, about $300,000.
• Scott Heekin Canedy, President: 12,000 shares, about $300,000.
• Martin Nisenholtz, SVP and digital-operations chief: 8,000 free shares, about $200,000.
• Catherine Mathis, VP and chief flack: 1,750 free shares, about $50,000.

Yeah, that must really suck.

Off the Record [NYO]