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Actually, I just looked at a few of the news stories about all that. The biggest sticking point I see in all of this is that the gentleman who asked the question, Mr. Hinchliffe, is a 20-year employee. Burnham has been with the company for less than two years. Sure, Burnham has lost 15 million in paper profits on his stock options, but those options aren't fully vested for seven years. Mr. Hinchliffe (and others like him), on the other hand, is nearing retirement. The 68% percent drop in RTN likely took a very significant chunk out of his portfolio, and he (being an old-timer) is more than fully vested in every dime.

While I don't think Burnham needs to return his bonus, he doesn't need to be an ass about it either. If having your bonus reduced to only $900,000 for last year is "feeling the pain," then for the love of God, let me feel that pain too. What Mr. Hinchliffe was trying to say is that the engineers did their jobs and did them well while management (and management alone) made the mistakes that have put the company on such shaky ground. The rank-and-file increased revenue, decreased costs, met (most of) their deadlines, and won several major contracts. The brass bungled the merger and charged-off losses from bad investments (Iridium, anyone?). Yet management gets six-figure bonuses on top of their six-figure salaries and multi-million-dollar equity plans, while the rank-and-file gets nothing extra to go with their rapidly-compressing salaries. That is what has so many people so upset and what makes Burnham sound like such a jerk.

To their credit, they brass are supposedly revising the employee bonus plan to take factors other than pure profit into account (similar to their own plans). But I'll believe it when I see it. Until then, people are going to remain more than a little ticked off. (And the yearly raises are to be announced in a couple weeks... that should be entertaining.)
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