Eric Wesoff of Green Technology reports that Solyndra’s top executives awarded themselves substantial bonuses — on top of their already lavish salaries — just months before the solar company declared bankruptcy in early September 2011. Upon reviewing Solyndra’s 277-page bankruptcy document, Wesoff found the following:
- Karen Alter, senior vice president of marketing, received two $55,000 bonuses on April 15 and July 8 of this year, on top of her $250,000 annual salary.
- Ben Bierman, executive vice president of operations and engineering, received $120,000 in bonuses this year on top of his $276,000 salary.
- Paula Camporaso, vice president of information technology — $80,000 in bonuses on top of her $107,000 salary.
- Dave Sanat, vice president of supply chain — $80,000 in bonuses on top of his $111,000 salary.
- Bill Stover, the company’s CFO who took the fifth before Congress at a September hearing, was awarded at least $120,000 in bonuses on top of his $367,000 salary.
The document also reveals that Chris Gronet, one of Solyndra’s founders, was “transitioned to the role of adviser and consultant” from his position as CEO on July 1, 2011, and negotiated a severance package worth more than $450,000.
Fortunately for them, they’ll all get to keep their money. American taxpayers, on the other hand, will have to hope that Solyndra’s remaining assets yield more than $75 million — the amount to which private investors were given priority as part of the company’s loan-restructuring agreement negotiated by the Energy Department — or else we’ll be out $530 million.
I imagine once word of this reaches Zuccotti Park, the entire tent city will erupt with indignation. Or not.