Some corporate lawyers see pay cuts as coronavirus impacts bottom lines
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The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting corporate earnings and the compensation of top corporate executives—including some general counsels.
• Marriott general counsel Rena Hozore Reiss, who is taking a 50% pay cut. The company’s CEO, former Latham & Watkins partner Arne Sorenson, won’t be paid any salary for the rest of the year.
• Cheesecake Factory general counsel Scarlett May, whose salary will be cut by 20%.
• Lands’ End general counsel Peter Gray, who will take a 20% cut in pay.
• Walt Disney Co. general counsel Alan Braverman, whose salary is being cut by 30%.
• MGM Resorts International general counsel John McManus, whose salary will be cut from $850,000 to $700,000. Half of McManus’ salary will be paid in stock.
It’s unclear whether the pay cuts will become more widespread among general counsels, according to Lee Udelsman, the in-house counsel recruiting leader at Major, Lindsey & Africa.
In an interview with Bloomberg Law, Udelsman said he thinks the cuts are a temporary occurrence among some segments of the economy trying to cope with the novel coronavirus.
“While certainly no one relishes a pay cut, it sends a message to the rank-and-file that the economic pain associated with this pandemic is being felt equally, especially if a company has a large number of hourly employees who are subject to layoff,” Udelsman told Bloomberg Law.