Opinion: From our Readers - Bonuses are a reward for creating wealth

I was encouraged to see Willie Walsh decline his bonus this week. No doubt there's an element of truth in Unite's claim there would have been uproar if he'd taken it.

It certainly wouldn't have been shy at stirring the pot. I wonder if the fact Unite chief Tony Woodley was branded 'breathtakingly arrogant' by The Sun for flying off on holiday as BA staff prepared for a 20th day of strikes last Friday had anything to do with his decision? The media love to portray industrial disputes as battles of personalities as much as principles these days.

Executive pay will remain in sharp public focus for years to come. I don't think people want an end to rewards if they are justified, they just want greater transparency and proof of success.

Corporate leaders can still take a bonus when they have created wealth (for the company, staff and economy), but not when their leadership delivers a loss (in money, morale or reputation).

There's a lot of hard work ahead for Walsh if he is to take his bonus next year, but he seems up for that challenge. I'm not so sure BP's Tony Hayward will get the same chance.

Neil Bayley, corporate practice leader, Porter Novelli

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