19 Aug, 2012
Suddenly abstinence is fashionable. Not only did BHP follow its rival in abandoning bonuses for its top executives due to multibillion-dollar write-downs in recently purchased assets, it also chose the same way of presenting the news.
The pitch was that forgoing the bonus was a voluntary initiative by the executives involved, an offer accepted by their grateful boards. It forestalled the ignominy of the boards withholding the bonus payments, which would have looked more like a punishment.