On April 27, 2011, United States Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn, the judge on the Borders Group bankruptcy case, wrote a memo. Actually, it was an Opinion. It was titled “Memorandum
Opinion Granting the Debtors’ Motion for Authorization to Implement an Employee Incentive Program and Employee Retention Program.” If you are so inclined, you can read it for yourself at this link: Memorandum Opinion
Myself, I just skipped to the Conclusion in order to learn the bottom line. The judge determined that Borders Group’s incentive plan showed “proper exercise of business judgment.” The plan proposed by Borders will, they believe, allow them to hold onto employees during the reorganization effort to turn the company around and stay in business. The judge agreed.
We’re talking millions of dollars here, but I’m not going to second-guess the judge. In fact, I lean toward agreeing with the Opinion. I know when a company of my own was struggling to reorganize in time to save itself, my biggest concern was losing the very people that I was counting on to make it happen. If the key managers left, I would just have to throw in the towel.
My managers, however, stayed the course without asking for more money. True, our time period was weeks rather than months or years (whatever Borders Group’s forecast is). But I see the difference as related to the size of the company, how closely people were working together, depending on each other, trusting each other. Borders Group doesn’t have that “luxury.” Money has to do the talking.