John Wren is CEO of the massive, ominously named advertising and PR conglomerate Omnicom. As part of his contract, whenever he dies, the (publicly traded) company pays his heirs $41 million. This benefits the shareholders by....????
Omnicom is one of the handful of massive "holding companies" in its industry, meaning it owns dozens and dozens of actual firms that do actual work. So John Wren's job is primarily to wear a nice suit, and have people give him reports. (He can delegate the second part of that, if he likes). He made eight million dollars last year. Aaron Elstein reports that a shareholder tried to get this "golden coffin" benefit for Wren (and a bunch of other Omnicom executives!) eliminated, because it is clearly fucking asinine and borderline criminal. Of course they failed.
Omnicom, which owns BBDO Worldwide, PR company Fleishman-Hillard and other marketing-communications firms, opposed the [proposal to eliminate the death benefit]. It argued that it needs to offer death benefits in order "to attract and retain top talent" and added that "such benefits are common in our industry."
Now now, Omnicom executives—if others in your industry robbed a bank, would you do it too? Ha, of course you would. You already are.