Entries in Companies (3)


Workers Are Mad for The 'Don Draper Effect'

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The TV hit Mad Men may take place at a fictional ad agency during the 1960s but some of its workplace dynamics are still applicable today.  At least, according to a survey conducted by recruitment company Futurestep that encompassed 1,500 companies in the U.S., United Kingdom, China, Brazil, Germany, France and Australia.

Even though Mad Men might not be an international phenomenon, some of its plots are universal, including the strong relationship secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson has with her boss, agency head Don Draper, the series' rakish lead character played by actor Jon Hamm.

In what has been referred to as the "Don Draper effect," Peggy learns she can get ahead by getting close to the boss. That also seems to be the number-one real-life lesson learned by workers in their ambition to move up the corporate ladder.

Of lesser importance is forming close relationship with co-workers.  Intelligence seems to rank lower than nearly anything else, reinforcing the longtime belief that it's not what you know at work but who you know that counts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


25 CEOs Earned More than Their Companies Paid in Tax

Medioimages/Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- Twenty-five of the biggest, best-known corporations in the U.S. paid more money to their CEOs last year than they paid to Uncle Sam in taxes, according to a report released Wednesday. The list includes Boeing, eBay, General Electric, International Paper, and Verizon. The same report, issued by the Institute of Policy Studies, a liberal think-tank, said the 25 companies enjoyed average global profits of $1.9 billion.

Chuck Collins, one of the study’s co-authors, told the Washington Post, “These individual CEOs are being rewarded for presiding over companies that dodge taxes.” Eighteen of the 25 firms operate subsidiaries in countries characterized as tax havens by the U.S. Government Accountability Office or by other tax-monitoring groups.

Some of the 25 took issue with the Institute’s approach, which focused only on what firms paid as a tax expense within calendar year 2010. A spokesman for Verizon, for example, told the Post that Verizon, “fully complies with all tax laws and pays its fair share of taxes.” Verizon said it had deferred paying the bulk of its 2010 taxes to future years.

The same report found that the gap between pay for the average U.S. worker and pay for CEOs rose to a ratio of 325-to-1 last year, up from 263-to-1 in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fortune 500 Had Great Year, Still Aren't Hiring

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…" The famous opening to Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities would have been an apt headline for this year's Fortune 500.

"It's the best of times for American big business. Profits were up over 80 percent for America's 500 largest companies," said Andy Serwer, Fortune's managing editor. The Fortune 500 ranks the top U.S. public companies as measured by gross revenue. That's the third-biggest jump since the magazine started keeping track. "Business is picking up again, and they're minting money right now."

How? That was the "worst of times" part.

"Big business is making a lot of money right now by making employees work that much harder," said Serwer.

To put it in economic terms, employees' productivity has grown. It had to when more work fell to fewer workers: unemployment remains high, at 8.8 percent.

The top of the list was studded with oil companies. After number-one Wal-Mart, the next three were ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, whose profit was up 133 percent over the previous year.

"Oil companies make a lot of money...selling gasoline to Americans, and we can't get enough of it," said Serwer.

Given the current spike in oil prices, reflected in $4-per-gallon prices at the gas pump, oil companies could do even better on next year's list, Serwer said.

Apple, whose iPhone and iPad grew ever more popular last year, was up 21 places, to 35. Its profits were up 145 percent.

Homebuilders, after being shut out of last year's list due to the mortgage crisis, have crept back on, with two companies on the list.

General Motors was number eight, and AIG was 17. Both were huge beneficiaries of U.S. taxpayer bailouts. Even if many Americans are feeling like characters in another Dickens work, "Oliver Twist," asking for "more" work, at least they can say they made the Fortune 500.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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