Six Flags CEO may get $3 million restructuring bonus

Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009 8:09 PM | Contributed by Lord Gonchar

Six Flags Inc., the U.S. theme-park owner facing possible bankruptcy, set a $3 million “success bonus” for Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro, to be awarded if the company restructures its debt out of court or goes through Chapter 11 reorganization. The bonus is part of an employment agreement with Shapiro extended through April 1, 2013, Six Flags said in a regulatory filing yesterday. Five other managers also had contracts extended with such bonuses. The accords keep the base salaries at current levels.

Read more from Bloomberg.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 5:46 PM

Its up to his majority shareholders to decide how much or if he even gets it. Not the Govt.Case closed

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 5:50 PM

wild ride said:I can make that claim simply by looking at the numbers..... Pre Shapiro, stock trading at 12.00 plus per share, today, under Shapiro for 3 years .19. a 98% loss. Since the 1960's never once heard the word's bankruptcy and six flags in the same sentence. Go back and read what I said. No, the balance sheet is not Shapiro's doing, but as CEO it is his job to fix it, plain and simple. He knew it going in, and has not fixed it. I mean, that is why he makes the big bucks right?

Unless your a share holder, You don't have a claim.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:32 PM

My only concern is that the contract is worded in such a way that it encourages success, rather than encouraging Shapiro and his men to race the company into bankruptcy because that's the easiest solution. It sounds like they have that angle covered, though, so I'm with the crowd that says this is really a non-story.

There's a joke in there too, but I'll let it go.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

LostKause said:
How much money does the average SF employee make? How much was their bonus?

What the hell happened to our culture that now anyone who makes a good buck is some how the devil and doesn't deserve it? I'm with kRaXLeRidAh, it's absurd to compare the work of a CEO to that of a Chief Churro Distribution Technician.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:40 PM
LostKause's avatar

It's not absurd. We complain about the crappy service from people like the Churro employees all the time. What if he valued his job and did his best to keep it, because he made enough money to pay the bills?

How much money does the Churro stand bring in? If it bought in even a few thousand dollars a day profit, wouldn't the Churro employee deserve more than $7 an hour or about $50 a day after taxes? Profit is way too disproportionate to the wage in many businessess, imho.

No one needs millions of dollars to live. Some people who work for him don't make enough to live. It's seems like the employees are slaves and the owners are the masters.

And there is your "Lostkause unpopular opinion of the day".


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Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:40 PM

CCDT? I laughed out loud on that one. :)

You need a degree for that position?


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:45 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

LostKause said:

And there is your "Lostkause unpopular opinion of the day".

Wait, does this mean you're going to limit them to one a day now? ;)


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:50 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
And there is your "Lostkause unpopular opinion of the day".

Oddly enough, I get where you're coming from. I don't agree with it, but it's a nice way of thinking.

But what I think you're overlooking is the fact that scarcity equals value. That's the way EVERYTHING in the world works. The more common something is, the less it's worth.

A kid willing to schlepp churros is a dime a dozen. A person with the necessary skills to schlepp churros is worth even less.

It has nothing to do with living wage or importance to the company, it's a simple as "anybody can do it" - the availability of people who can do it is high. Less scarcity equals less value. One's skills at selling churros isn't worth much.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:51 PM
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Friday, April 17, 2009 1:08 AM
LostKause's avatar

I get that. I just wish it could be different. "If I was king..."

Pretty funny, Carrie. As I was typing that, I thought to myself, "I wonder what snappy comeback Carrie will have for me?" :)


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Friday, April 17, 2009 1:38 AM

LostKause said:
It's seems like the employees are slaves and the owners are the masters.

Doesn't that describe just about every corporation in the U.S. if not the entire world? I know I have felt like a slave at almost every job I have had.


My mother (1946-2009) once asked me why I go to Magic Mountain so much. I said I feel the most alive when I'm on a roller coaster.
2010 total visits: SFMM-9, KBF-2
2010 total ride laps: 437

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Friday, April 17, 2009 7:29 AM
kpjb's avatar

LostKause said:
It's not absurd. We complain about the crappy service from people like the Churro employees all the time. What if he valued his job and did his best to keep it, because he made enough money to pay the bills?

If you think the place is expensive now, what do you think will happen if they start paying CCDT $20/hr?

Not to sound callous, but low wages for mindless jobs are a great incentive for people to get educated and learn to do something useful.

My first job paid me $3.10/hr. It did not take me long to decide that I wanted to better myself.


Hi

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Friday, April 17, 2009 9:23 AM

LostKause said:
It's not absurd. We complain about the crappy service from people like the Churro employees all the time. What if he valued his job and did his best to keep it, because he made enough money to pay the bills?

As someone who knows what it's like to have the unpopular opinion around here, I do understand where you're coming from. In a perfect world, it would be great to take some of Shapiro's performance-based bonus and toss it to the rank-and-file employees to motivate them. But my experience has proven that this is not a perfect world and if the Churro employee is a teenage punk that insists on giving more attention to his cell phone than the park guests lined up for his stand, and small performance bonus isn't going to do much to get him to improve his work ethic. Give him something reasonable like $25/week and he's still going to have that cell phone in his hand and you'll have to wait for your Churro while he's texting.

I'm not really for the idea of performance-based bonuses because I don't think any kind of workers should need to have a carrot dangled in front of them so they do a better job, but if you're going to give out performance-based bonuses, at least give them to the people that are in a position to make a difference. Shapiro clearly does more than the Churro employee.

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Friday, April 17, 2009 10:41 AM

...And let's say you did pay the Churro Distribution Technician $20k a year (remember this is a 6-month job, so that's about $20/hour, a "professional" wage). You would have to do the same for the Burger Distribution Technicians, the Sandwich Artists, the Park Sanitary Services Engineers, the Cash Collection Specialists, the Admission Control Technicians, the Ride Safety Attendants, the Plate Captains, the Nostalgia Promotion Agents, and everybody else in the park now working for a little more than minimum wage.

The natural result of all that? One of two things, or more likely, both: First, a lot of those positions get eliminated to control costs; second, the prices for everything go up to provide enough cash to pay inflated wages to all those people. As a consequence, they end up right back where they started, with the same buying power as before, but a lot more zeroes on the paycheck and a higher tax bracket.

The bottom line is, some jobs are always going to be low-wage jobs.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, April 17, 2009 10:44 AM
rollergator's avatar

With the extra $25, you MIGHT be able to insist that they: 1) put their cellphone away and tend to the customers, or 2) go get another job that pays a LITTLE less (like flipping burgers). I know, I'm foolishly optimistic about what 50 cents an hour can do for minimum-wage type jobs....or am I? ;)

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Friday, April 17, 2009 10:59 AM

Or 3) Fire their asses for poor job performance. ;)

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Friday, April 17, 2009 11:47 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Something I always find interesting about this discussion when it comes up has to do with the premise that a higher wage is a motivational factor for better performance. Both sides pretty much lead up to that same train of thought.

On the one hand, it gets argued that minimum wage workers would care more about their jobs if they were paid more to do them. On the other hand, it gets argured that minimum wage workers can earn more money by caring about what they do and therefore creating opportunities to earn more via advancement.

I think there's probably a threshold range where compensation is a significant factor for the work that is being done. But I don't really think it lies in the outer ranges we are talking about (the CEO or the Churro Guy.)

If money really had that kind of power... where everyone either worked harder out of a desire to achieve more and therefore be rewarded more or they worked harder because they are being compensated favorably and have a sense of responsibility to earn that compenation... can you just imagine how vastly different our society would be?

I just don't think compensation has that much of an effect on employee performance... at least not in mass numbers.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, April 17, 2009 12:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

^I think that you've got the horse behind the cart...that higher levels of compensation allow you to be chooiser about whom you hire...and retain. If you're paying minimum-wage, then you can easily get rid of an underperformer....but you're likely to replace them with yet another underperformer who just left/lost/quit his last minimum-wage McJob...

(IMO) - ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Friday, April 17, 2009 12:22 PM
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Friday, April 17, 2009 4:07 PM

kpjb said:

LostKause said:
It's not absurd. We complain about the crappy service from people like the Churro employees all the time. What if he valued his job and did his best to keep it, because he made enough money to pay the bills?

If you think the place is expensive now, what do you think will happen if they start paying CCDT $20/hr?

Not to sound callous, but low wages for mindless jobs are a great incentive for people to get educated and learn to do something useful.

My first job paid me $3.10/hr. It did not take me long to decide that I wanted to better myself.

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Friday, April 17, 2009 4:43 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

What am I missing from above? It looks like you might have meant to comment on that quote, wild ride, but there's nothing appearing but the quoted post. You can edit your post if you wanted to add something.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, April 17, 2009 4:47 PM

Yea, but education makes no difference at Six Flags. I know a 35,000 dollar a year supervisor that has less education than the kid's that she supervises. She was a security guard, a director, well let's just say, he took a liking to her, stamped supervisor on her forhead, gave her a fulltime position, an office, the whole nine yard's. Never once ask her qualifacation's. But if he was looking for a high school drop out with no GED, who was dismissed from the U.S. army for refusing to do her duty, he did good. I guess most of you here would just say "good for her" but I say, it is a tradgedy when college graduates get turned away from job's like this, or the college student's trying to pay thier way through college. What kind of message does that send to our youth?

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