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The Most Over-The-Top Employee Rewards

There’s a lot made in the news about bank directors’ bonuses and the rewards given to the high flyers and jet setters of some of the biggest companies around.

Some say they’re over the top, others say they’re completely justified, but we’re not here to say who’s right and who’s wrong (or attribute those weasel words to anyone).

All we’ve done is found a selection of what Forbes has described as the ‘Most Outrageous Executive Perks’, so we’re going to take a look at what some execs, board members and chairmen got as perks for all their hard work a couple of years ago.

1. Barry Diller, of Expedia and IAC/Interactive Corp, racked up £761,000 in personal flight time.

If you fancy trying this yourself with our help, it’d take just over 380 maxed-out Virgin Gift Cards (and probably more than a little while reading out serial numbers!). It'd make for a pretty mean holiday though.

Virgin Atlantic plane Or a heck of a lot of Virgin Atlantic flights of your own

2. US insurance company Fidelity National Financial spent around £300,000 entertaining their execs at a 28,000 acre ‘working Montana ranch’ – a ranch coincidentally owned by the company’s chairman.

We don’t have a ranch, but you could buy more than 6,500 ZSL experiences for that kind of money – and treat over 13,000 employees in the process!

Tigers at ZSL London Zoo Or treat a few thousand tigers to tea

3. Tom Ward, of SandRidge Energy, received almost half a million pounds in ‘accounting support’ (from his company’s employees).

Accounting would be a pretty boring experience for us to offer, so instead of bean counting you can do bee counting on a beekeeping experience – which you could do about 4000 times to get an authentic ‘head-spinning maths’ experience.

bees on a beekeeping experience Putting our skills to the test, we counted 'oh god, so many bees' in this picture

4. Sheldon Adelson, of Las Vegas Sands, spent £1.6 million on personal security for himself and his family.

Once again not an exact analogue, but with that kind of money to burn you can spend 7.3 years (without sleeping) pretending to be a Private Investigator with some London pros – roughly 64,000 hours of cloak-and-dagger stuff.

Private Eye-ing in London "There's a suspicious looking man with an earpiece and radio on the other side of this win - wait, nevermind'

5. Irving Azoff, of Live Nation Entertainment, got £77,000 of health insurance premiums paid for him by his company – just a ‘touch’ more than what the rest of the employees received.

Thank God for the NHS! Take advantage of the money you save living in the UK and put your body on the line just for giggles, zorbing over 1500 times up and down the country (we’re just kidding about the danger, though doing that many zorbs would probably make you pretty ill).

Virgin Incentives holds no responsibility for vomiting caused by excessive zorbing

6. MGM Resorts International gave its directors up to £8,880 in perks through the MGM rewards program for use at their company resorts.

We’ll be honest, we like this idea. With that kind of gift they could have a go at every single Virgin Experience Day we’ve got (over 2000) – provided they had 30 directors.

7. John Hammergren, of medical imaging company McKesson, has built a pension pot that’s now over £58.7 million. Those are going to be some comfortable golden years!

Now this one does depend on what you plan on doing during your retirement, but we can offer you either: 391,000 spa days, over a million afternoon teas, 1.5 thousand years in hotels or a cosy 116 years on Richard Branson’s Necker Island. Feel free to mix and match.

Necker Island has some enviable views One of these days...

8. Stephen Green, of S.L. Green Realty, spent £33,000 on a personal car, with an extra £75,000 on top for a chauffeur to drive the thing.

For those counting at home that’s £108,000 for a year of going from A-B. There’s lots of travelling-type options we can offer for that kind of cash (and many pieces of fun maths), but our favourite has to be in a supercar. We can give you 10,285 miles in some of the fastest cars around, which will get you roughly halfway around the world.

BMW i8 Though going over the oceans could prove problematic

9. Robert S Porter, of Platinum Underwriters Holdings, was given £274,000 for housing while being chief of the company’s Bermuda unit.

Sadly we can’t buy you a house, but if you want to stay in some of the fanciest ones around there’s Necker Island, Mont Rochelle and The Lodge from Virgin Limited Edition for you to take an extended stay in – for a cool quarter million you can enjoy 199 nights on an island, 458 nights on a vineyard or 310 nights up a mountain (provided all those days are in summer, naturally).

The Lodge Verbier May not be available for 310 days of summer in a row

We'll end with a quick disclaimer - this is all back of the envelope maths, something we'd avoid in the normal run of things. We've got a whole group of data guys here at Virgin Incentives, always busy working with company data to keeps our business running smoothly - the above is what happens when a writer gets hold of metrics instead of a mathematician.


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