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Executive Greed Is Coming Home to Roost

May 13, 1990

So American corporations are "downsizing" to be more competitive--especially with the Japanese ('Downsizing' Strains AT&T Employees," April 19).

Why not start at the top? The salaries, bonuses and perks received by American executives gobble up disproportionately large amounts of corporate income. According to Harper's magazine, in Japan a chief executive in the automotive industry, on average, has a rate of pay versus a blue-collar worker that is 20:1. In America, the figure is 192:1.

Witness, too, the speed with which the Japanese can introduce a product to the market. Compare it to, say, General Motors' Saturn division: six years in the making and there isn't one on the road yet. Trim the layers of executives who endlessly monkey around with projects in endless turf wars and careerist maneuvering.

The problem also affects the federal government, which bemoans how hard it is to attract qualified individuals from the private sector. The problem is not too little money at the government level but too much avarice and greed in the boardroom and corner office.

Attention AT&T and all corporate greed heads: Sooner or later it's going to crash around you. Ask Frank Lorenzo.

ALEX TORRALBAS

Venice

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