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Memo to Public: Boards Rubber-Stamp CEO Pay

September 19, 2002

"CEO Pay Needs Some Sanity," your Sept. 16 editorial on the excessive pay for many of today's CEOs, is timely and on target, except for your remedy.

You say: "The onus is on corporate boards, which too often have been rubber stamps, to demand that compensation not exceed justifiable levels." Those boards "rubber-stamp" because their members are CEOs of other companies, who vote for hikes in each other's pay.

The onus is upon us citizens to elect legislators who will ensure fair regulation of these corporate bandits. And, I assure you, very few of those legislators will be found in the deregulation-obsessed Republican Party.

J.B. Thomas

Arroyo Grande

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"Storm Brews Over Executive Pay" (Sept. 16) is an excellent example of distorted and misleading information. I worked for General Electric for more than 34 years and watched the company grow under the leadership of Jack Welch. Your article places him in the same category as the CEOs of Enron, WorldCom and Tyco.

Welch did not run the company for his own benefit. In his 20-year tenure as GE's CEO, he led the company into becoming the world's most valuable. His retirement benefits were based on the value he added to the company and his continued role as a consultant. The benefits he received have been known for some time and were a "thank you" from a very appreciative board of directors. I, as a GE retiree, add my thanks and appreciation for his role in GE's growth.

Walter J. Scheiderich Jr.

Simi Valley

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