Hostess CEO cuts everyone's pay but his

Gregory Rayburn argues that because he isn't on the Hostess payroll, he should still get his full $125,000 a month.

By Kim Peterson Dec 4, 2012 3:50PM
Gregory 'Greg' Rayburn, CEO of Hostess Brands Inc., during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on Nov. 16, 2012 (Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images)The CEO of Hostess Brands is getting widely criticized for taking his full salary while cutting everyone else's pay by 8%.

Gregory Rayburn will still get his $125,000 a month, or $1.5 million a year, the company told The Huffington Post. His logic is that because he isn't on the Hostess payroll, he doesn't have to take part in the company-wide pay cut.

Rayburn looks at himself as temporary, telling The New York Post he's more like outside help and therefore entitled to his full salary. He said he will leave Hostess when he's no longer needed, the Post reports.

Rayburn joined Hostess in February as chief restructuring officer, and one month later was named president and CEO. He's also on the board of directors.

To be fair, Rayburn is taking some measures to rein in his pay. He was eligible to get a bonus of between $375,000 and $1.125 million, but decided to give up the money, The Huffington Post reports. And Rayburn and three other top executives are taking $1 for the rest of the year in pay, but their full salaries will be reinstated in January.

That's small comfort to the rank-and-file employees who watched a number of Hostess executives get sweet pay raises and bonuses as the company barreled into bankruptcy. The company wants 19 top managers to stay with Hostess as it moves into the liquidation phase, and got approval from a bankruptcy judge to award up to $1.75 million in retainment bonuses.

The execs only get those bonuses if they perform specific tasks related to easing the operational wind-down, a company spokesman told The Los Angeles Times. Rayburn won't be getting a bonus.

At least 15,000 Hostess employees are losing their jobs in bankruptcy, but Hostess wants to keep about 3,200 to help wind down operations.

Hostess cracked under nearly $1 billion in debt, and blame for its demise can be spread far and wide. Private-equity firms funding the company couldn't get it off the ground. When consumers lost interest in carbs and sugar, the biggest innovation Hostess could come up with was banana-filling Twinkies. Although union members agreed to steep concessions over the years, it still failed to adjust to new realities. The old CEO, Brian Driscoll, suddenly bailed in March without explanation, Fortune reports.

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Dec 5, 2012 9:24AM
ok you're a temp, then you get min, pay and no benefits
Dec 5, 2012 9:23AM

I am so tired of hearing about CEO's. I am middle class, live from one paycheck to the next. I have worked since I was 52 now. I live a comfortable life with a roof over my head, food on the table, clothes on my back and a small amount left for a night out every now and again.


 I have no problem with ANYTHING he makes. He worked his way into his position, the company hired him under a contract and they said they would pay him. Simple enough.


The key words in both of the above paragraphs is WORK!!! Stop you bitching and complaining and get a job. Stop whining about the haves and have nots. He has because he worked himself into his position. I have what I have because I get out of bed and actually go to work.


No Jobs you say? Come to Louisiana, we have billboards along the highway begging for people to come to work. Oh damn..that would mean you have to get up and WORK!


You want to complain about this CEO....Maybe we should stop paying Obama...his "company" is so far in the red it can't even get a loan. Runs so inefficient he has to keep taking more of his "workers" salaries to pay the bills! Wow...where are those socialists and "let the govt" pay for my free ride now!

Dec 5, 2012 9:23AM

And they couldn't keep the company going because why?  Unions? 


I think not.  Here's the guy who killed it.

Dec 5, 2012 9:22AM
Where are the anti-union posters, like grey ghost?  Could you please justify Rayburn's salary?  Grey ghost, you can do this rather eloquently. 
Dec 5, 2012 9:20AM
good old double standards, a lot of people were blaming the unions. Now maybe you can see the truth.
Dec 5, 2012 9:19AM
Hey Dave think about what your Pres and Congress make , and thier retirement.
The paying of exorbitant salaries to executives of companies has been ludicrous for many years. Just what do they do to earn this pay? They don't add to the value of the products like the hourly workers do, they don't come up with fresh ideas for new products like the marketing gurus do, they don't make the company any better at all. 
The difference in pay between men like Rayburn and the hourly workers has gotten to be such a chasm that  it is ridiculous. Hostess has not kept up with the changing trends, tastes and health issues and that is the problem. To pay this man that kind of money for doing practically nothing is terrible. Now, if he rolled up his sleeves and helped out on the line that is one thing, but he doesn't do that at all. Nice perks, and even nicer in January when they will be making the outrageous money again. 
They are contributing to the death knell of Hostess.  
Dec 5, 2012 9:17AM
Yeah, a republican would do something exactly like that:  In flick pain on everyone else to get their way.  It the same thing/concept as them not wanting to pay their fare share of the tax burden, huh?
Dec 5, 2012 9:17AM

WOW , you people blame the CEO when they get paid well, you seem too forget that they run a company you also seem too forget the fact that his resume take huge hit.

Put the blame where it is due,The Union did and you don't here them attacking the Union President who makes a good sum and still get paid with all union dues collected from workers that no longer have a job.

Dec 5, 2012 9:11AM
And that in a nutshell, is why America is failing. Most people don't see why and continue to blame the workers and not the greedy leaders.
Dec 5, 2012 9:11AM
This amazes me.  My wife and I are currently in graduate school, having open discussion with professors and class mates about the last five years.  It is shameless in the extent to which individuals will destroy a company for personal greed.

And this isn't the worse of it.  There are CEO's making 100's of millions each year in bonuses and stock incentives.  

People need to take a stand against these ****s.

I'm not saying individuals who barely passed the seventh grade should make $25/hr with union backing, but those with 10 yrs work experience or college degrees need to stand up for themselves without unions pulling the strings.

Dec 5, 2012 9:09AM
Every major civilization in history destroyed itself this same way! From within! WE need only to look at democratic Roman Empire whom we are modeled after to know what fate awaits us!
Dec 5, 2012 9:08AM
His salary may be too much but take a look at Union officials salary before you criticize CEOs.  Any company that has to deal with a union deserves it.
Dec 5, 2012 9:06AM
Here's another Republican getting all he can.  Republicans' are for big business and the rich.  This guy is both.  He looks like a real jerk. Where is Hostess getting this money to pay him????????
Dec 5, 2012 8:58AM
Epic Fail.  No pay if you can;t do the job expected of you.
Dec 5, 2012 8:57AM
This is all about labor and greediness of unions.  Hopefully, BO will continue to take money from others and give to me. 
Dec 5, 2012 8:50AM
You bunch of whining socialists. Your redistribution ideology and the notion that anyone who earns more than you is a villain just don't wash. Life isn't fair and we are not all equal. Educate yourself and aspire. Might even n surprise yourself. Losers all. Obamas army. Sorry **** USA.
Dec 5, 2012 8:42AM
Dec 5, 2012 8:37AM
does that surprize us !    my only comment
Dec 5, 2012 8:35AM

What a shame!   Why doesn't his pay reflect the company's "performance"?   It is a joke. What boggles the mind is after the exposure of the investment company and insurance company executives ridiculous spending and salaries that led to the  bail outs  we atill allow these blood suckers to get away with it...............   There is no pressure on the companies to do what is right and there certainly is no accountability to the shareholders.  I am against big government and regulation but had always hoped that we would learn from experience and the companies would smarten up, but I guess not.

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