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 4, 2012 7:28PM

There isn't a person in this world worth 125.000 per month.


Dec 4, 2012 7:27PM
C= criminally  E= excessively O= overpaid.  These a-holes are responsible for us going off the cliff which is going to happen for sure.
Dec 4, 2012 7:25PM
Ohh for a second I thought they were reporting on the owner of my company Larry M. who in the last few years turned himself into a millionaire while over half his employees are on welfare or having to go to food banks and community help lines.
Dec 4, 2012 7:23PM
Who are the true entitlement minded people; the 48% or the 2%?
Dec 4, 2012 7:21PM
take that ****er to the back of the store and beat his **** down if it wasnt for all those they are laying off he wouldnt be making that ****ing money hate american business .ceo all suck they are not worth any of there pays .
Dec 4, 2012 7:16PM

This is the real problem people want to stick it to CEO's!  "I'm better than you, you are common"!  They could sack him right now, and "not miss him" I'm sure!  Ridiculous!  And until America really believes the workers are more important we will continue on a downward spiral of salaries between the middle class and the rich!


Everyone should join a union!  We should be able to negotiate what is good or not for each in an industry!  The Corporations are shaking in their boots.  If our country is to be successful the middle class has to be strong and viable, with money to spend.  If we don't, as we have seen lately, America will not make it as a strong and leading economy!

Dec 4, 2012 7:16PM
No surprise.  Gov't does the same thing.
Dec 4, 2012 7:15PM
Maybe he should run for congress after this ordeal
Dec 4, 2012 7:11PM

I would ask one thing...REMEMBER THIS BEFORE YOU CONSIDER BUYING A HOSTESS PRODUCT. . .     People went through this with imports - N.A.F.T.A.  and lost jobs


Dec 4, 2012 7:09PM

As I have said previously on here...


Keep it up 1%ers and the French Revolution II won't be far behind.


You (1%ers) could have had all the money you could ever spend if you had just kept your normal level of greed.  The majority of people who value their humanity over the 'love of money' would have not cared as long as you let the rest of the 99% able to at least survive and live.  You had to push it though, and now you may very well learn that every person has a breaking point, even otherwise good and decent people. 

Dec 4, 2012 7:06PM
Dec 4, 2012 7:04PM
if you can't make money selling crappy foods to Americans, you should not only not get paid at all, you should be fired!
Dec 4, 2012 7:03PM
a painful and early death to all of them and the other greedy CEOs and overpaid thieves like them.  make yours, but give back to those that get you there with hard work and sacrafice everyday.   A HOLES!!! 
Dec 4, 2012 7:03PM
look at this paumpus prick reminds me of a greedy rich man o wait he is !!!!
Dec 4, 2012 7:03PM
Dec 4, 2012 7:00PM
I will be willing  to bet there are more journalists on MSNBC making more than Rayburn is....of course they will never admit that.... this article sounds socialist to me.....
Dec 4, 2012 7:00PM

Dividing it up - and selling it bit by bit as the vulture capitalist do - you're selling AIR.....and anyone who buys will be burnt...buying a pig in a poke....and a dire sickly pig at that.........

TWINKIES WIL NOT RECOVER . . .  an even money bet

Dec 4, 2012 6:59PM

wow 125,000 dollars a month ....ceos love to point the finger at employees kinda like congress its everyones fault but thiers !!!

Dec 4, 2012 6:54PM
So he gave up $375,000 minimum bonus on a $1.5 million salary (25% and he is only taking $1 for the rest of the year = 1 month / 12 months in a year = 8.33%.

He should get $1.875 million this year minimum and instead is going to get $0 bonus and 11 months of his $125,000 monthly salary + $1. That means he will take in $1,375,001. That means he is giving up $499,999 MINIMUM. $499,999 / $1.875 million = 26.67% pay cut.

Ok so he is maintaining his salary but this year he is taking a 26.67% cut in compensation. It is amazing how a story can be written to spend the numbers and the mindless idiots (see comments below) follow the words instead of doing the numbers themselves. If I were him, I would say fine. Reinstate my salary and bonus and then cut it all 8%. Let the idiots be happy thinking they "won" while he laughs all the way to the bank.
Dec 4, 2012 6:50PM
i say hes no longer needed now !!!!
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