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The price of excellence

The business world was taken up this week with the news of a CEO receiving £1.8 million in severance despite quitting before starting the job. 

Coty, a New York based cosmetics company, announced the hiring of Elio Leoni Sceti as its next Chief Executive back in April 2015.

However, earlier this week it was announced that Mr Sceti had reconsidered and won't be joining the company in July after all. A Coty filing with the SEC "disclosed the fact that the company reached a “dissolution agreement” with Sceti that will pay its onetime future CEO $1.75 million in severance and buy back Sceti’s preferred stock, which is worth about $55,000", reports Fortune magazine.

Discussing the news with my colleagues at Interim Partners, we came up with a number of 'take aways': 

This is...

  1. A sad indictment of the business world
  2. Proof that a good lawyer is worth more than their weight in gold - almost literally
  3. When people say 'only in America', they might be on to something
  4. An article from the 1982 National Enquirer has appeared through a wormhole
  5. Proof that execs should be paid by results

Personally, I voted 5. I've never seen the harm in paying for excellence, whether it's for a footballer, interim manager or anyone else whose success can be measured and a successful outcome observed. In fact...what am I saying? Give that lawyer a pay rise!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the situation.

Steve Rutherford is the Managing Partner at Interim Partners.

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