Report: Execs Made Top $$$ While Driving Midway Over a Cliff

Top executives at Midway pulled down huge compensation packages even as the moribund video game publisher company laid off worker bees and its fortunes spiraled downward.

As reported by The Game Reviews.com:

Former President and CEO David F. Zucker [left] made over $4.5 million in the past two years… Since 2003, Zucker has made just under $11 million… Since 2006, Midway’s stock value has dropped from nearly $23 to 18 cents. Zucker left Midway in March…

The highest paid of all current employees is vice president Martin Spiess, who pulled in well over a half million dollars ($556,834) in 2007… [current CEO Matt] Booty earned $556,834 in 2007. Spiess’ and Booty’s respective predecessors, Thomas E. Powell and Steven M. Allison, earned $365,530 and $347,173…

To put into perspective how much executive pay is being doled out, consider that Midway laid off 180 employees last week, and that the average games industry salary is approximately $50,000.Via: Joystiq

Via: Joystiq

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17 comments

  1. 0
    DoggySpew says:

    This is happening all over the world. Why oh, why aren’t there smart companies that allow "cut in bonus pay due to incompetence " clauses in CEO contracts ? If you do a good job, then you should be awarded (fair enough), but if you are the cause, then bye bye bonus, and bye bye to you too.

    It’s like the freaking movie "Trading places " where in the end Murphy and Aykroyd finally got filthy rich, and put the antagonists in the poor house, for a 1 dollar bet. Only this time, Murphy and Aykroyd are the assholes.

    (Sorry if I spoiled Trading Places for you, but heck, it’s a  25 year old movie)

    Don’t know however how this applies to company CEO’s that did NOT screw up, but still couldn’t keep the company afloat.

     

  2. 0
    Spartan says:


    Regannomics and the entire school of thought associated with it needs to be outlawed pure and simple. Anyway if you guys want to read just how some of the billons of the bailout has been spent go here: consumerist.com/5116967/bailed-out-bank-executives-got-16-billion

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  3. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    It applies quite easily. The goal of trickle down economics is to make operating costs of corporations cheaper. By allowing companies to save money on taxes, they would invest more in providing benefits for their employees or developing methods to streamline production.

    But as you said it has failed on many counts. Most often, the money saved goes directly into the pockets of those at the top and none reaches those at the bottom. This is part of the problem of having such massive bonuses for CEOs who destroy the company they are hired to care for.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
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    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  4. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    Nothing changes.  The same stuff was happening 100 years ago and it’ll continue to happen unless enough of the folks at the bottom make a stink about it.  But right now, the folks at the bottom are content to take the pittance they get from the folks at the top and buy lottery tickets, beer and tobacco with it.

    Trust me, things have to get a lot worse for the folks at the bottom before we get a revolution.  And even if we do get a revolution, all it means is that a different group of people get to screw everyone else up the arse.  Human nature hasn’t changed much in the last 2000 years, and now, as then, if the chance exists to take advantage of the system, there are always going to be some folks who are ready and willing to do so.

  5. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    That’s really shitty man. It seems like the average working man and woman is getting F’d in the ass while the elite and the politicans they buy and pay for hoard all the money. Add to that all our tax money is being givin to these people in bailouts. I smell a revolution coming up. But that’s just me.

    "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  6. 0
    Anthrax says:

    There’s just too much money to be earned by being an asshole. The people that are in charge are always the people who are in on it so they never have any incentive to do anything about it. Greedy bastards.

  7. 0
    JC says:

    Eh, Zucker is a strange one. I recall his interview a few years ago about how he’d turn Midway around into a better company. He pretty much did, but I can’t really assess if he screwed the company before he left. The guy just seems to hate sticking to one company for too long. The man was President of Playboy, and he gave that up to go to Midway.

    Either way, it is screwed up how bonuses are given even though little to no growth happens, I also thought sometimes huge bonuses were given to execs so they stop screwing up and leave the company…? <_> Who the hell decides to give such bonuses to people who aren’t concerned for the company? 

  8. 0
    shady8x says:

    Not that voodoo (trickle down) economics work but how is this related to it?

    Trickle down is about letting the rich pay fewer taxes so they invest more the economy(utter rubish disproven by all objective analysis of data) but this is just companies paying crazy salaries to people who have every incentive to screw over the owners…

    You should say, this is a problem with bribes… High salaries for executives are basically bribes given to them by the owners. The thinking is that if they are paid more than is sane to pay them then they will work in the interests of the owners despite having every incentives not to do that. The thing is those execs get that bribe and want more…

  9. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    See, this is the problem with trickle down economics. When the Execs are making so much money and getting such large bonuses and severence packages, what is left for the actual workers?

    Most places I have worked have had severence packages worth either 2 weeks or 1 month of pay. Execs like this get 5 years or more worth of pay as a severence package. Does that really make sense?

    How is this not regulated? Why shouldn’t CEOs be required to follow the same rules as their employees?

    Not going to happen in any company I start.

    I also like the idea of starting at the top when it comes time to cut costs. When you can fire one board member to save teh equivolent cost of firing 100 regular employees, why not? That way only one person loses their job and it doesn’t make headlines.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  10. 0
    Arell says:

    I’m not really one for heavy-handed regulation of companies and their Executives.  But I’ve been thinking that perhaps these people should only be paid based on the health of the company they control.  More and more we see these captians of industry sailing their boats into a rocky cliffside, then jumping ship in a golden liferaft.  Seems a bit wrong. 

    Also, why do these guys get multi-million dollar "bonuses" for doing their job, even during years of little or no growth?  The President of a nearby University makes over $800,000 a year, and gets an average of $300,000 in bonus every year, even as tuition increases at insane rates.  The guy didn’t do anything special, he just did what his contract expects of him.  What the hell justifies a "bonus?"

    I think that Execs should have it written into their contracts that they only make a percentage of net profits from the company.  If things go bad on their watch, they don’t get paid.  It’s not like Execs have more difficult jobs than their employees.  They’re just the one that happened to land at the top.  Not sure how that means they should get rich while everyone else gets laid off.

  11. 0
    Faceless Clock says:

    Just more incompetence from executives. We can hardly be surprised.

    Funny story. My friend’s company had a conference call yesterday. They couldn’t hear the CEO, because there seemed to be some sort of technical glitch. The glitch turned out to be the CEO, who failed to actually initate the call so others could hear him speak.

    And what did he do? He yelled at everyone in the company for the wasted productivity spent listening to him not-talk because he can’t figure out how to use a god-damn telephone.

    And this guy gets a bonus of nearly 100,000 every year.

    The Honest Game – http://www.thehonestgame.org

  12. 0
    zel says:

    I agree man, the company i work for, the previous CEO received a $10,000,000 bonus just for working here 1 year. Not 1 year as in, ohh youve been here for  a while, and you’re doing excellent, stay 1 more plz. He was a brand new CEO and was offered to work here 1 year with his regular like 300 or 500k a year salary + the 10 million dollar bonus for staying 1 year.

    Give you 1 guess what he did after he completed his 1 year and got his money…   The irony is the company is trying to lay off workers right now and cutting our health care coverage by alot and making it twice as expensive.

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  13. 0
    Spartan says:


    Like this would be news? It happens at all publically traded companies. As far as I’m concerned ALL executive packages should be published. Moreover whenever there needs to be cuts it should start at the top and work its way down.

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    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  14. 0
    zel says:

    Anyone else find the juxtaposition of his middle name to his last name to be very appropriate for this situation?  I mean, who wouldn’t have seen this coming with a middle initial and last name like "F. Zucker"?

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  15. 0
    Wag says:

    This is no different than what wall street does as well.  I’m not sure how any one person considers themselves to be so important to demand such a high salary + kickbacks + bonuses.  It’s one thing to create a product that everyone in america and more has in their homes (like Bill Gates) and it is another thing entirely to simply be the CEO of a company who clearly dosen’t care, probably dosen’t even play games, and ultimately causes the layoffs of hundreds of employees and the possible bankruptcy of a company.

    As stated before, even I can do that…

    Most of us would probably be happy with 50k per year and would do just as good of a job.

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