A bankruptcy court ordered $368,500 in bonuses for 20 top managers and employees of Solyndra, the solar panel firm that received $535 million from taxpayers two years before filing for bankruptcy and laying off 11,000 employees. The bonuses kicked in on March 31.
The 20 high-level workers earned a total base pay of $2.49 million before the bonuses. One of the executives earned a base annual salary of $206,499 and received a $30,000 incentive under the court order handed down on Feb. 22 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath in Delaware.
Another executive earning $189,000 in base pay was awarded a $20,000 bonus and a third, who earned $190,800, received $15,000 more.
Most of the bonuses awarded were between $15,000 and $25,000, with the three top beneficiaries receiving $30,000, while the three lowest received $10,000 each.
The Energy Department finalized a loan guarantee of $535 million to Solyndra on Sept. 3, 2009, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – better known as the $787 billion stimulus.
On Aug. 31, 2011, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 allows a debtor company to restructure and work out agreements with creditors without being liquidated.
Court documents referred to the bonuses as a “Key Employee Incentive Plan.” The ruling determined the payouts to be “in the best interests of the Debtors, their creditors and all other parties in interest.”
The court documents did not identify the individuals getting the various increases, but did provide their titles, base salaries and bonus awarded:
1. The senior manager for information systems earned a base salary of $157,000, and got a $12,500 bonus.
2. The network administrator who earned $75,190 got an increase of $15,000.
3. A senior manager of manufacturing engineering who earned $159,073 received a $16,500 bonus.
4. Another senior manager of manufacturing engineering, earning $162,400, got an increase of $19,500.
5. An equipment maintenance supervisor earning a base pay of $120,000 got an “incentive” of $22,500.
6. The senior director of product line maintenance earning base pay of $206,499 got an additional $30,000.
7. The facilities project manager earning $108,150 got $30,000.
8. A senior facilities sites service manager earning $108,900 got $20,000.
9. An environmental health and safety supervisor engineer with a base pay of $124,500 got $30,000.
10. A senior facilities manager earning $123,500 got $10,000.
11. A facilities shift supervisor earning $100,000 got $20,000.
12. A facilities supervisor earning $85,000 received $15,000.
13. A facilities maintenance engineer earning $101,760 got $25,000.
14. A lead facilities specialist earning $72,842 got $20,000.
15. A lead facilities technician earning $71,781 got $15,000.
16. A senior director of finance earning $190,800 got $15,000.
17. A director of financial planning and analysis earning $150,000 got an extra $12,500.
18. An accounts payable manager earning $75,705 got $10,000.
19. A senior director corporate controller earning $189,000 got another $20,000.
20. A senior accountant earning $114,400 got a bonus of $10,000.