Misplaced priorities at CSC?

September 12, 2007

gulfstream.jpegLast week, when we footnoted Qwest’s (Q) amended contract which gave new CEO Edward Mueller’s wife and step-daughter access to the company’s corporate jet, we didn’t realize that it was the start of a trend. How else to explain this agreement filed yesterday by Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) which gives CEO Michael Laphen’s family access to that company’s corporate jet? Could it be that Laphen read about Mueller’s deal and said, “I’m a new CEO and I need that too?”.

The new language says that “In addition, it being recognized that some of Executive’s personal travel using the Company’s aircraft may be required for purposes for security and/or ensuring Executive’s availability for the demands of the Company’s business, the Company shall permit the use of the Company’s aircraft at the Company’s expense for reasonable personal use by Executive and accompanying family members.”

Both the language and the disclosure are new. But what’s particularly strange is that at least according to the most recent proxy, Laphen didn’t use the corporate jet for personal use at all. So the idea of extending the perk to his family seems a bit out of place.

It also seems like there’s some misplaced priorities, given the company’s continued delay in filing its first quarter Q and related accounting issues. On Aug. 8 the company said it planned to file the Q by the following week. But when Aug. 13 came, the company said it wasn’t sure when it would be able to file the Q. Then, on Monday, the company said that its 2007 K “could no longer be relied upon” and that it had found accounting errors dating back 10 years.

But, hey, at least they have that personal jet usage for the CEO’s family squared away.

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