Shapiro gets 30% raise despite Six Flags' problems

Posted Wednesday, October 4, 2006 11:03 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A filing made Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission said Mark Shapiro, who took over as president and CEO of Six Flags last December, will be paid $1.3 million next year. His previous employment agreement set Shapiro's salary at $1 million. The new agreement pumps up Shapiro's target bonus to $1.3 million from $1 million, and increases his maximum bonus to $2.6 million instead of 200 percent of his base salary, or $2 million.

Read more from The Denver Business Journal.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 11:08 AM
I'd be pissed if I were an investor right about now.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 11:17 AM
I would be 200% pissed.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 11:43 AM
Bonuses and raises are generally given based on some benchmark or expectations met. So my question is, was the board's expectation that things would get worse instead of better?
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 12:05 PM
I AM 200% pissed...

He's driving the company right into the pisser, and he gets paid more money? Who are the dunderheads who agreed to pay him more money? Let me guess... Snyder said "oh, Im a major shareholder, so I'll give you a raise!!" and then Shapiro says in return "I'm also a major shareholder, so I'll give YOU a raise!"...

...they use Six Flags as their own little piggy bank while driving the company further & further into debt.

If this sounds all to fimilar, think of Adelphia cable & the Regis family, how they just completely ruined a profitable & booming cable company.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 12:10 PM
Maybe that's just his cut from the future SFMM sale.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 12:44 PM
So, Shapiro's park liquidation strategy gets him a raise? Not good news for fans of these parks.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 1:15 PM
Hey! Remember when I suggested they only took over Six Flags to dismantle it and run off with the cash - ie: a corporate raid - and everyone acted like I was nuts?

Still seem so impossible?

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 1:41 PM
Not even I can justify this raise.

But I just want to point out that $300,000 (Shapiro's raise) represents less than .02% (that's two hundredths of 1%) of SF's total debtload.

Should these guys be getting raises? No.

Is 300 grand anything in SF's books? No.

They'd have to give this same raise almost 7000 times to equal the debt they're carrying. Hell, it's not even enough money to add a single major flat ride to one park.

Again to reiterate:

-the raise certain doesn't seem deserved
-$300,000 is a lot of money on the personal level
-$300,000 is nothing on the SF corporate level

No corpoate raid happening. No shareholders to be angry. No raise deserved after this past year's stumbles.

Stupuid move, but not one that affects anything other than Shapiro's bank account.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 1:56 PM
Great to see the money collected from raised parking prices this past year is being put to good use. [/sarcasm].

Shapiro, by accepting the $300,000 salary hike and bonus increase from $2 million to $2.6 million, you are now officially a douche bag.

This is exactly what happened with Kieran Burke and Michael Eisner. Top execs that were collecting outrages salary hikes that did NOT reflect the company's performance.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 2:11 PM
The guy needs a bigger Yacht, give him a break!
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 2:34 PM
I hope they made enough to pay for Shapiro's raise by cutting a month off of Darien Lake's schedule, laying off the characters, etc. Wasn't there something posted in the news here when Shapiro was visiting the parks in the spring about no employee raises, we're all in this together, suck it up for the sake of the company kind of bulls***? (I'm thinking it was SFKK). Well I guess not everyone is in it together.

Wonder how many employees might be a little pissed off about this. Maybe 300-900 thousand wouldn't go far among all the employees, but it's the perception that the big guy's getting richer and the drones get nothing.

Thought you saw great customer service this year? You ain't see nothin' yet. Maybe you'll see the coaster dispatch time increased by 30 percent.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 2:47 PM
I am scratching my head on this one too.

RGB brings up a good point and I think the park was SFA where a maintenance man from that park asked a question to Shapiro about pay raises. He was basically told that pay freezes were to be expected and we all have to make sacrifices.

Good lord Shapiro is looking like a hypocrite right now. I was in the Gonchar camp of being a big Shapiro defender but this news just throws a wrench in that thinking.

2007 better be a stellar year for the SF company to justify this.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:07 PM
This is FANTASTIC news for the hourly employees working for minimum wage (or barely above)....I'm sure their attitudes at work will be greatly improved by this...

Seriously, can ANYONE justify this? When Gonch says "the rich are eating their seed corn", then you KNOW things are outta whack... :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:16 PM
Gonch, they could install TWO new sets of Larson flying scooters for that little bit of cash. :)
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:19 PM

Sharpie doesn't deserve no darn raise in salary,especially when the chain is $2 billion in the red.

I say they should get a group of former CF execs together to run the company,too bad Kinzel is retiring in 07 as he'd make one helluva good CEO compared to these two fools.The more I see of Shapiro & Snyder's actions coupled with the less than stellar performance at the parks this season the more I'd much rather take Burke as the lesser of two evils running the chain.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:30 PM
So how long until CF buys a dead SF? (only kidding.. I'd be pretty upset if they bought the chain.. perhaps a park or 2, but I don't think they'll do that after Geauga Lake)
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:33 PM
Gator, SF employees all over the place get paid way more than most employees.For instance, when I worked at SFA last fall, I made $6.25 per hour with no bonus. For the same position, I'd be making $7.25/hour here in the 2006 season. While I still think that may be a bit lower than it should be, it's higher than most (not counting the bonus at CF parks, which would make the lowest-paying parks equal in hourly rate to SFA).I think the raise is pretty bogus myself. As far as the SFA maintenance guy at SFA asking about them getting raises, well, I wouldn't be shocked if Shapiro's response was his polite way of saying, "You don't deserve a raise. Next question," because as far as I'm concerned, SFA's maintenance department should actually be doing work before they get paid more. There's a few who do deserve it, but it would be pretty hard to single out a few people for raises and leave everybody else out to dry, at least in this context.However, as for Shapiro's raise, though $300,000 may not be a significant number as far as the total debtload is concerned, every little bit counts. I'd wait until some significant results are made known about how improved things are, and I'm not yet convinced that there are any.

And BatwingFan, though I don't think Shapiro and Snyder have proved overly effective yet, they're still light years ahead of Burke. At least he's not throwing in multi-million dollars to combat the losses. Well, at least not yet.
*** This post was edited by sirloindude 10/4/2006 3:36:13 PM ***

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:42 PM
- That $300,000 could be used for a new flat ride for a park....
- That $300,000 could be donated to a local charity for season pass tickets to sick children
- That $300,000 could be used as bonuses to the hard working employees of the parks.
- That $300,000 could be used as a raise for the local park heads who have turned over a profit vs. a local park head who did the opposite.
- That $300,000 could be used in budgets for landscaping to beautify a number of parks.
- That $300,000 could be used as a promotional give-away for park guests as a grand prize. $10,000 per park.

That... that is money he does NOT need... and does not deserve... and ya know what? We can't do a thing about it. Nobody cares about this douche, because he's not like a political figure who's screwing tax payers... he's just a shrewd business man who's boning us park enthusiasts & casual fans alike by running what was once a great company into the ground further than it was when he took ahold of it.

:( :( :(

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 3:48 PM

Seriously, can ANYONE justify this? When Gonch says "the rich are eating their seed corn", then you KNOW things are outta whack...

Well, let me clarify. I can't justify it based on performance. It has nothing to do with how much he previously made, how much others in the company make or any crap like that. What the kid pushing buttons on some kiddie ride makes has nothing to do with Shapiro and his pay raises.

It's so easy to play the sob story - "Oh the rich get richer in the face of this or that". Cry me a river. What matters to me is that I don't think there has been any significant achievement to warrant a 30% raise.

...they could install TWO new sets of Larson flying scooters for that little bit of cash.

1. I wouldn't consider scooters a 'major' flat ride.

2. Does that include all the costs in infrastructure and preparation to permanently install the ride?


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