Finally, A CEO Takes The Lead

Gordon M. Nixon of RBC is cutting his own salary and investing his shrunken bonus (a mere 2.4 million!) back into RBC to show his faith in the future of the bank and the Canadian economy at large.  It’s a start.

A while back I opined that it was time a business leader looked at his own bloated paycheque as he or she trimmed hundreds of 5-figure salaries without a blink.  It’s hard to drum up sympathy for a CEO who has a sleepless night in his paid-for Forest Hill mansion while his discarded employees hit the pavement for a new job.

This move by Mr. Nixon isn’t going to make me funnel all of my finances into RBC but it is going to give me a bit of naive hope that others will follow his example.  He’s not exactly gunning for a Nobel prize here but he’s moving in the right, ethical direction.  I’m all for big rewards for big efforts when times are good.  (And let’s keep foremost in mind that most of the lousy news we’re hearing involves the US and we’re largely untouched, by comparison.)  But it’s time to show a bit of restraint and confidence and Mr. Nixon is doing both by cutting back and reinvesting.  Let’s fact it, there are plenty of executives at big companies who could stand to do the same, even if only for the selfish pursuit of the positive press it would generate.  And we could certainly use more of that, especially about the business world.