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Friday, May 20, 2022

The LABJ Forum: Winnick and His Checkbook

Winnick and His Checkbook

Last week, Global Crossing Ltd. Chairman Gary Winnick told a Congressional committee he would donate $25 million toward the retirement funds of his company’s employees. The retirement plan lost $250 million in value during the company’s collapse, while Winnick sold Global Crossing shares for $734 million before the downfall. So the Business Journal asks: What do you think of Gary Winnick’s offer to give $25 million back to his employees?

Naz Keynejad

President

Western Direct Inc.

It shows at least a little bit of remorse, which is refreshing, considering that many other CEOs are not doing anything at all. I’m sure PR played a part of it, but not all of it at least I’d like to think that. It’s not enough, but it’s better than nothing. Look at all of the employees at Enron they got nothing.

Les Eisner

Senior Vice President

Lippin Group

It’s admirable to a degree, but what about Global Crossing investors who lost large sums of money? Gary Winnick made more than $500 million while running Global Crossing and $25 million is a drop in the bucket for him. That said, I’d like to see other CEOs under investigation take similar steps. Bottom line, they all need to step up and assume responsibility for their actions.

Jim Cline

Regional Vice President

East West Bank

It’s a way to save face. It’s hard for me to believe he didn’t know what was going on in his position. The truth will come out eventually, and I hope justice prevails. Frankly, I think he should take every dime he can get his hands on and give it back if he’s got $250 million, he should put back $250 million. But the courts may do that anyway.

Bonnie Bartlett

Actress

I find it an empty gesture. The lack of care for the employees of Global Crossing is just mind-boggling. The $25 million is better than nothing, but it pales in comparison to how much he’s taken.

Joe Navarro

Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Go West Event Productions

I don’t think it’s enough, but the fact that he acknowledges he has to do something is a start. It’s something that will hopefully catch on with other individuals in the same situation. There have been a lot of people that have been hurt and the corporations can’t just walk away from them. From a business perspective, it would be unwise for others not to follow suit, and from a humanistic perspective, it’s just the right thing to do.

Richard J. Eichenbaum

Senior Manager

Macerich Co.

The gesture is a good gesture and other executives should follow his lead. But if he made over $700 million by selling stock, there should be more money for the employees it’s a wonderful gesture but it should’ve been more.

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