News Execs Rewarded For Their Covid-19 Efforts

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Feb 3, 2019
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If they're willing to do that then why not put the money towards keeping as much of their staff as possible. A hand full of executives are less important than 90% of their staff I think.

Also someone said this earlier, where are they going to go right now?
There are strict rules towards issuing new shares for cash money. They can just issue new shares for cash and then use the cash for making payroll. (well, they technically could, but there's a lot more work involved in that and it paints the company in a much more negative light).

Paying executives partly in stock options is extremely standard and there is nothing out of the ordinary about this.
 

Zachary

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I'm just going to play Devil's Advocate for a moment and argue that these articles (from Behind the Thrills and the Orlando Sentinel) are not misleading.
  1. I don't think you can really fault any news organization for using a direct quote from an SEC filing, regardless if it paints a negative picture of the company.
  2. If this were purely a continuation of the 2017 Omnibus Plan, they would have said that in the SEC filing. Not to mention, there are new executives who have been hired since 2017 (and ones with different titles now), so this seems like a new incentive plan rather than the continuation of an older one. Even as the press release says, this had to be approved by the Compensation Committee specifically pertaining to the pandemic.
  3. All of the articles I'm reading clearly point out that the awards are in stock form, and will not be paid out unless the individual stays with the company. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply didn't fully read through any of these articles.
I agree with all of these points and I definitely think it's a bad look for SEAS. That said, I also think there's nothing terribly untoward going on here.

I find fault with enthusiasts reading a paragraph of a news story and then deciding that they suddenly hate SEAS and want to boycott the parks.
 
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if this were purely a continuation of the 2017 Omnibus Plan, they would have said that in the SEC filing. Not to mention, there are new executives who have been hired since 2017 (and ones with different titles now), so this seems like a new incentive plan rather than the continuation of an older one. Even as the press release says, this had to be approved by the Compensation Committee specifically pertaining to the pandemics
I never called it a continuation of the 2017 plan. I simply said that the 2017 plan was good for 2 years. Now 2 years are up; and it would be normal business for the next set of incentive plans to be out into place.

You've got to keep in mind that it is _extremely normal_ that part of executive compensation comes in the form of incentive plans like these.
 
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There are strict rules towards issuing new shares for cash money. They can just issue new shares for cash and then use the cash for making payroll. (well, they technically could, but there's a lot more work involved in that and it paints the company in a much more negative light).

Paying executives partly in stock options is extremely standard and there is nothing out of the ordinary about this.
I don't understand how paying your staff looks worse than paying yourself.
 
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I don't understand how paying your staff looks worse than paying yourself.
It all boils down to stock incentives being a normal part of executive compensation vs having so little cash on hand that you have to issue stock to pay people.

One is normal, the other is an extreme measure.
 
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I never called it a continuation of the 2017 plan. I simply said that the 2017 plan was good for 2 years. Now 2 years are up; and it would be normal business for the next set of incentive plans to be out into place.

You've got to keep in mind that it is _extremely normal_ that part of executive compensation comes in the form of incentive plans like these.
I agree, I was referring to warfelg's post (#13) on this thread. I also agree that these incentive packages are very common. It happened in 2017 as well as in 2019 in an effort to keep John Reilly with the company (he ended up forfeiting his award when he resigned). However, this is not extremely normal in this period when executives at other companies are cutting executive pay. If they really wanted to do it, they should have just waited for just a few more weeks. This move at this time really sucks for every SW employee who sees it.

Also somewhat of an unrelated question - do we know if any members of the company's board are taking a pay cut? The 20% figure from last week only applied to executives if I'm not mistaken.
 

warfelg

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I don't understand how paying your staff looks worse than paying yourself.
1) There's a very finite amount they could get for payroll for that.

2) According to PayScale.com the average SEAS pay comes in at $14.18.
4,700 full time employees
12,000 part time employees
4,000 seasonal employees

That's a lot of payroll to have to get money for. Assuming that average across the board, that's $2.7mil a week for full time employees; $3.4mil a week for part time (that's assuming an average of 20 hours a week); and if the seasonal employees (I'm guessing this is things like performers) work 40 hours a week, that's $2.3mil a week for them. So for a single week for payroll you would be talking about $6-9mil on a guess.

This is based on 2018 hiring numbers as well. Now I realize that likely seasonal employees and many part time employees haven't been hired yet. But still it's an issue because it can only be done for so long before you need to let go of those employees.

3) @Jahrules kinda beat me to the punch, but issuing the stocks also means that you are subject to the prices at the time.
 
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1) There's a very finite amount they could get for payroll for that.

2) According to PayScale.com the average SEAS pay comes in at $14.18.
4,700 full time employees
12,000 part time employees
4,000 seasonal employees

That's a lot of payroll to have to get money for. Assuming that average across the board, that's $2.7mil a week for full time employees; $3.4mil a week for part time (that's assuming an average of 20 hours a week); and if the seasonal employees (I'm guessing this is things like performers) work 40 hours a week, that's $2.3mil a week for them. So for a single week for payroll you would be talking about $6-9mil on a guess.

This is based on 2018 hiring numbers as well. Now I realize that likely seasonal employees and many part time employees haven't been hired yet. But still it's an issue because it can only be done for so long before you need to let go of those employees.

3) @Jahrules kinda beat me to the punch, but issuing the stocks also means that you are subject to the prices at the time.
I know it doesn't go far but it's better than nothing. The fact that this is common is the problem.
 
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I know it doesn't go far but it's better than nothing. The fact that this is common is the problem.
Actually, this is a really good way to compensate executives and professionals in general.

Here's why:

A lot of benefits are calculated off a percentage of base salary.

So, like a 401k match. Yep executives get that too. Would you rather the company match 3% of 1.5 million dollars? Or 3% of 500k and the exec gets $1 million in "bonuses" that don't apply to these benefits.

Some goes for life insurance. Life insurance is usually x times salary. So, by keeping the base salary to $500k they are paying for a $1.5m policy instead of a $4.5m policy (assuming 3x pay).

These are just some examples. But this is why many companies prefer to have bonuses as part of compensation.
 
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It all boils down to stock incentives being a normal part of executive compensation vs having so little cash on hand that you have to issue stock to pay people.

One is normal, the other is an extreme measure.
Unfortunately SEAS is closer to the latter scenario than the former. Unless they can get loans or issue debt, paying with stock options or issuing more stock for cash may be the only option left.
 

warfelg

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I know it doesn't go far but it's better than nothing. The fact that this is common is the problem.
I honestly don't think it's better than nothing to be honest. There's a potential to get up to $600 more a week on unemployment.

Let's focus on BGW alone. Maximum weekly benefit is $378, with the average being about 60% of that ($227/wk). If they get the $600 bonus, they could get anywhere from $978-827/week. Considering unemployment is typically about 50-60% of your normal pay, they would come out ahead being laid off if they get that $600 a week. Texas and California have much higher maximum benefits, Florida much lower. Especially if they were part time employees (as I suspect most were), the unemployment could have been better.
 
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@Joe 's idea of ParkFans acquiring SEAS is really the only sensible option. I think we could run the whole thing through a series of polls.
SEAS being structured as a co-op or B-Corp, similarly to Patagonia, REI or USAA, would actually be a really great way to align their altruistic mission better with the organizational structure. Parks such as Sea World being purely for profit really isn’t the best way to structure since profits have to take precedent over other goals.
 
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Zachary

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Sure, except this post has made it fairly clear that none of us have enough experience to know how to craft competitive executive compensation packages.
Bold of you to assume ParkFans would WANT a qualified executive to run a ParkFans-owned SEAS. 😋

Executive compensation here in Williamsburg will just amount to an apartment over Annie’s Cafe, a premier membership, a meal and drink plan, and the use of a company car barrowed from security when they HAVE to leave property (rare). 😋
 

warfelg

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Bold of you to assume ParkFans would WANT a qualified executive to run a ParkFans-owned SEAS. 😋

Executive compensation here in Williamsburg will just amount to an apartment over Annie’s Cafe, a premier membership, a meal and drink plan, and the use of a company car barrowed from security when they HAVE to leave property (rare). 😋
You could have stopped at the apartment over Annie's Cafe. I was sold.
 
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Member owned SEAS means you get to vote for the board instead of institutional shareholders, but it also means higher dues and initiation fees. It still would be a good trade off IMO.
 

Jonesta6

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Member owned SEAS means you get to vote for the board instead of institutional shareholders, but it also means higher dues and initiation fees. It still would be a good trade off IMO.
So... A membership is actually a membership and not a dressed up pass?
 
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