I know, a lot of people are going to have the same reaction when they see this story about Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle cutting his salary to $10,000 a year while continuing to pay his 3.500 retail employees at their regular rate, even though the company’s retail stores are closed.
They are going to say, “Well, Tim is a billionaire and he can afford that. He SHOULD do that.”
On the other hand, I’m going to give him a lot of credit for doing it. He didn’t have to do anything -- many corporations aren’t doing this. And at the same time, I’m hoping a lot of other CEOs and owners of companies will see this as a proper example of smart business, generosity and leadership and follow his example.
It's not only the right thing for companies that can manage it, it's good business. Those employees of the Washington County-based sportswear giant are going to eventually return with a sense of loyalty and love for their company they may never have had, And that will make for a stronger company.
There are certainly many business operators who can’t afford this kind of policy. I understand that. And while everybody has the right to do whatever they please with their money, it’s a time for us all to help each other as best we can.
And I know, too, gestures like this one have a way of leading to good fortune. I believe in karma.
As far as I’m concerned, the next time I’m looking for a winter coat or a pair of gloves, I know where I’m going to shop for them.