James Moore: Dave's corporate tantrum as Sports Direct shareholders say 'no'
Outlook Parents the world over are accustomed to explosive reactions from their toddlers when they close the sweetie jars. It goes with the territory. The little darlings eventually just have to learn that no means no.
Of course, the longer you leave the jar open, the greater the blowback. Which is why so many executives are throwing expensive toys out of designer cots now that their companies' parents – the shareholders – are crying "enough", having sat on their hands for years over the issue of excessive remuneration.
Take Sports Direct. Yesterday its chief executive, Dave (sic) Forsey, threw a public corporate tantrum after his shareholders demanded that the company close a sweetie jar full of eight million free shares that it wanted to hand to its founder and executive deputy chairman, Mike Ashley.
"The board was extremely disappointed to withdraw the resolution regarding a proposed share-scheme award to Mike Ashley," said Dave. "The most disappointing aspect was where large shareholders gave their support only to then vote differently. This outcome is likely to lead to further uncertainty in the future."
That, in the corporate world, amounts to his sitting down in the middle of a Sports Direct store and screaming blue murder while other shoppers cast accusing stares in the direction of his mortified mum and dad.
To be fair, Dave and Mike's school report cards read well. Sports Direct is a tremendously successful business. Its shops are usually bursting with parents and children because they make usually ruinously expensive kit affordable.
The retailer also ensures that at least some staff share in its success. Around 3,000 – some on only modest salaries – are eligible for a bumper bonus scheme, although if Sports Direct wanted to be truly progressive it would extend this to its legions of part-time workers. They far outnumber the lucky few in the scheme.
Moreover, while the largesse to some employees might motivate them to perform, handing £64m (at current prices) in free shares to Mr Ashley is just silly. He has a 55 per cent stake in the business. What more motivation does he need?
Which brings us to Dave's ominous warning of "further instability in the future". Is his boss going to scream and scream until he's sick? Or just add to the 24 million shares he's already sold this year?
If that's Mike's response to not getting his way, Dave has just made it more difficult for him. A veiled threat like that isn't going to inspire much confidence in potential buyers.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...