Apple’s failed sapphire makers want to pay out millions in bonuses to senior execs

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Could Gorilla Glass soon be even better than sapphire? Photo: Corning Glass
Failed sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies wants to pay out performance-based bonuses to its senior execs.

GT Advanced Technologies’ attempts to make sapphire iPhone screens for Apple may have ended in disaster, but that’s not stopping GT senior execs from asking for millions to be paid out in bonuses.

Because the company filed for bankruptcy protection back in October, any bonus program needs to have the signature of a judge in order to be legally binding. GT is requesting a hearing in January, although it admits there is likely to be opposition.

The bonus program would cover 9 unidentified senior executives, and could add up to $2.275 million if all the necessary targets are hit. A second bonus proposal would pay a total of $1.4 million to an additional 28 people.

Since GT stock plummeted after it was revealed it wouldn’t be providing sapphire to Apple, court filings say that bonuses would have to be paid in cash, since stock is no longer considered valuable and useful for motivating performance.

CEO Tom Gutierrez notably unloaded more than $10 million worth of GT shares in the eight months before Apple announced the sapphire-free iPhone 6.

More than 800 jobs were lost at GT Advanced Technologies when it shut down its sapphire manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona. The company is currently selling off equipment to pay its $439 million debt to Apple, and reestablish itself.

In the meantime, sources tell Cult of Mac that talks are heating up with regards to bringing sapphire production under Foxconn. If Apple wants the necessary 100 million sapphire units it would require for 2015-era iPhones, it needs to find an operator for its Mesa plant.

Source: WSJ