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April 05, 2011
Bonuses to Transocean Execs Generating Waves of Negative Comments

Transocean, Ltd, owner of the BP Deepwater Horizon rig that leaked oil uncontrollably into the Gulf of Mexico almost a year ago, has stirred up waves of negative comments by awarding huge bonuses to executives for making 2010 “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”

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Among those criticizing this finding are Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the chairs of the bipartisan commission to study the oil spill, former Senator Bob Graham and former EPA Administrator William Reilly, as well as several legislators from the Gulf region. Reilly told Fox News that “the bonuses underscore the commission's findings that complacency helped lead to this nation's worst environmental disaster,” and Graham said the bonuses show “the company just doesn't get it.”

In Transocean’s Annual Report to Shareholders, the Compensation Committee reports it took the following actions for executive officers:

  • Approved base salary adjustment increases averaging 3.8% per individual, excluding the CEO;
  • Determined to pay Performance Awards and Cash Bonus Plan cash awards based on safety, financial, newbuilds, and enterprise resource planning objectives, and
  • Approved long-term incentive awards in the form of stock options and contingent deferred units ranging from $1.2 to $5.4 million in order “to satisfy competitive market concerns and reward individual performance during fiscal 2010.”
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