Denny’s Daily Zinger: When the Boss Is Wildly Overpaid

Click to enlarge and read about the highest-paid CEO.

I saw it last week on TV and ran across it online:

Median CEO pay is 257 times the average American worker’s pay.

The usual scenario: head honcho packs the board of directors with buddies who return the favor by voting higher salary and more shares of stock.

According to the AP, the highest paid CEO in the country is:

Anthony Petrello, Nabors Industries, $68.2 million, up 246 percent.

If I were Anthony Petrello, I would send the following personal letter to every one of the people who work for me:

Dear Laurie,

My pay package of $68.2 million has been well-publicized.

Nobody needs that kind of money.

So I am peeling off $50 million and sending an equal share to you and your 29,000 co-workers.

Enclosed is my personal check for $1,725.00—my thanks for your contribution to Nabors’ $6.5 billion revenue this year.

Thank you again for all you do.


/s/ Tony Petrello

That would leave me with $18.2 million for the year.

I think Peggy and I could scrape by.

And wouldn’t it be a morale-booster Nabors-wide?

Of course, I would make a slew of enemies—all the other greedy bankers, lawyers, CEOs and fund managers around the world who have obscene incomes and rhinoceros hides.

Denny Hatch’s new book is “Write Everything Right!” Charles Gaudet writes, “Once again, Denny Hatch provides us with sage and proven advice from the trenches. The book is chock-full of examples, takeaways and strategies for making every word more compelling and persuasive. This is easily one of those ‘top-shelf= books you’ll reference time and time again.” Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • Meg Nugent Hodges

    Too often it is the small-business owner (AKA "The Little Guy") That walks the talk every day. Eats rising health care costs to the breaking point. Stops taking a salary at all rather than lay off valuable employees. I see this all the time. A lot of polisy-makers and influencers pay lip service to these folks, but a rare few truly back them up. Truth is however than in the US, many more of us can say we work for "The Little Guy" than a large corporation. I for one greatly prefer it that way.

  • Scott Smith

    I would have to agree, Denny, but…you ever notice how few people begrudge athletes, film stars and other artists the same obscene amount of income? Where is the moral outrage?

  • Thomas (Tom) Smith, III

    CEO’s who really believe in the importance of their employees to the brand will take your advice.

    How many will "walk their talk?"

  • Bill Konst

    Brilliantly stated. Denny. I’ve often thought of this exact same thing. Imagine how much more productive and proud of their work these employees would be.

    I know of owners of companies who leave their business to their employees when they die or retire, or who share the profits when selling a business. However, this needs to be more widespread than it is.