Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella © Getty Images
What was Satya Nadella thinking? On Thursday, the Microsoft chief executive made a monumental gaffe on the topic of women’s pay. Not asking for a pay increase, he said, was “good karma” and might be “one of the additional superpowers” for women. In the long term, “it’ll come back because someone’s going to know that that’s the kind of person I can trust,” he said. As the Twitter storm pointed out: karma does not pay the bills. Women have traditionally suffered under the illusion that being conscientious, likeable and patient is the key to getting a salary hike, only to see their mal e peers swagger into the corner office and demand to be paid their worth (and sometimes more than they are worth). His advice is contrary to that of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. In her book Lean In, she wroteof her idiocy of being patient.
So concludes a new research paper that used data collected from tests compiled by the Swedish military on men born between 1952 and 1978, who were entering compulsory military service. It then tracked these men’s income, education and service as CEO of any Swedish company – both public and private, small and large. The sample included 1.3m men of whom about 41,000 served as a chief executives.
The findings will add fire to the debate over high compensation for chief executives.
If you think lawyers are boring, I advise you to read James Stewart’s fascinating account in the New Yorker magazine of the rise and fall of Dewey & LeBoeuf, the US law firm that collapsed spectacularly last year, amid partner disharmony and financial chaos.
It has appearances from, among others, Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano, the acting head of the Bonnano crime family, and some breathtaking compensation practices. Stewart reports that Morton Pierce, then co-chairman of Dewey Ballantine, was guaranteed compensation of $35m over five years in the merger with LeBoeuf in 2007.