NO SMOKE OR MIRRORS AT UNION CARBIDE
Senior writer John Byrne expressed some good ideas about designing incentive compensation programs for executives ("Smoke, mirrors, and the boss's paycheck," Management, Oct. 13). However, a more thorough reading of the material that he was sent explaining Union Carbide Corp.'s earnings-per-share compensation program, along with the report on executive compensation in our proxy statement, ought to have made it clear to him that we have just such a program.
We agree that compensation should be based on "goals set against an industry peer group." That is why, several years ago, Union Carbide's board adopted a plan that makes competitive performance measures overwhelming factors in the formula directors use to determine variable compensation.
As one of the participants in the program, I can assure you that the incentive opportunity and pay-at-risk elements both strongly reinforce alignment of management's actions with the interests of the owners of our shares.
Joseph S. Byck
Union Carbide Corp.
Danbury, Conn.Return to top
HOW EXCITE'S REVENUES REALLY STACK UP
As CEO of one of the most heavily visited networks of sites on the Internet, I enjoyed your recent article about Internet advertising "Web ads start to click" (Special Report, Oct. 6)--until I got to the charts that show Internet advertising spending and revenue reported from Jupiter Communications Co. I am concerned your report can be misinterpreted, because Jupiter reports spending by company--but revenue by site.
Excite Inc. owns and markets three major Internet brands--Excite, WebCrawler, and Magellan--under the Excite corporate umbrella. In the data that are shown, Excite Inc.'s estimated spending is recorded, while only Excite.com's estimated revenue is reflected. Hence, a hasty comparison of Jupiter figures leaves readers misinformed, with an incorrect impression of Excite Inc.'s position in the overall market.
Had Jupiter been consistent in its own approach by reporting figures on Excite Inc.'s corporate revenue, Excite would have been correctly represented in your list of top online publishers by revenue, where we clearly rank in the top three.
President and CEO
Mountain View, Calif.Return to top
A DEPOSIT-AND-RETURN POLICY MAY SAVE ALUMINUM CANS
Maybe the manufacturers could sell more aluminum cans if they marketed them using the environmental angle ("What's foiling the aluminum can," The Corporation, Oct. 6). In places that have no deposit-and-return requirements, plastic bottles, bags, six-pack rings, and fast-food packages are finding their way in increasing numbers into storm drains, streams, estuaries, and the ocean. On the other hand, in the Honolulu and Waikiki area, we seldom see discarded aluminum cans because the bounty paid for collecting them is worth 20 cents or more per pound.
Eugene P. Dashiell
Ala Wai Canal Watershed Water Quality Improvement Project
HonoluluReturn to top
`WE DON'T NEED A NATIONAL TEST'
I'm a student at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Teaneck, N.J. I summarized a recent BUSINESS WEEK article for current events in my social studies class ("Do not panic. This is only a test," Social Issues, Sept. 29).
My opinion is we don't need a national test: It will not help students at all. For example: Does a car go faster when you put another speedometer on it? Obviously, no. You're just measuring the speed again. And when we take a test, it measures our knowledge on the subject, but it won't help us get more knowledge.
Teaneck, N.J.Return to top