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Friday, November 14, 2014

LANL chief's compensation tops $1.5M

LANL chief's compensation tops $1.5M
No similar information was available for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. A spokesman said pay for officials at Sandia, also run by a ...
 

LANL chief’s compensation tops $1.5M

By 
PUBLISHED: Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 12:05 am
SANTA FE – The annual compensation for Los Alamos National Laboratory director Charles McMillan has topped $1.5 million, federal records show.
That’s up from the $800,348 director’s compensation that the same records showed for 2009 and is nearly three times the LANL chief’s compensation in 2006, the last year the lab was still run by the University of California.
McMILLAN: Los Alamos National Lab director
McMILLAN: Los Alamos National Lab director
The lab has since been run by a private consortium, Los Alamos National Security LLC, that includes the university, the Bechtel corporation and other partners.
Although LANS is a private enterprise, its compensation figures for top lab officials have been made public in the past few years as part of disclosure forms required for recipients of federal stimulus money distributed in the wake of the 2008 economic crash.
What appear to be two of the most recent disclosure forms, 2013 reports on funds awarded in 2009 and 2010, show McMillan’s annual compensation at $1,538,256. The second highest amount was $567,949, for the chief financial officer at the time covered by one of the disclosure forms.
LANL provided this brief statement about McMillan’s compensation: “The amount reported reflects total compensation that includes salary and the change in current value of pension benefits. Not all of the compensation comes directly from taxpayer money, a significant portion comes from the private corporation that manages the Laboratory. Note that the change in pension value is not a salary wage, but a change in the current value of future pension benefits.”
The last time the Journal reported on McMillan’s compensation, also from the stimulus award forms, was in 2012, when the amount was about $1.1 million.
No similar information was available for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. A spokesman said pay for officials at Sandia, also run by a private contractor, was proprietary.
In 2012, Sandia provided a statement to the Journal that president Paul Hommert’s total compensation was $1.3 million. That was down from what stimulus disclosure forms showed was $1.7 million for former Sandia president Tom Hunter, whom Hommert replaced in 2010.
Los Alamos lab watchdog Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, in an email calling attention to McMillan’s compensation, referred to the performance-based fee adjustments that LANS receives based on evaluating how it met standards set by the federal government.
“So the performance-based bonus system is working just fine, right?” Mello wrote. “It really helped with LANL’s performance vis-a-vis WIPP, didn’t it?”
The lab has come under fire after a radioactive waste drum packaged at Los Alamos popped open and contaminated the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, the nation’s underground nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad, earlier this year.
WIPP has been closed since. The cause of the chemical reaction that caused the breach in the LANL waste drum is still under investigation.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's see. He started at $1,000,000 [er year in June 1, 2011, which is a little more than 3-years ago. This indicates in excess of 10% raises per year. As an employee of LANL I now understand why I have not received a raise since LANS took over. The raise money all stays with senior management, with nothing left over for the workers.

Anonymous said...

"November 15, 2014 at 4:52 AM"

You as a very sad and pathetic person. Why should you begrudge the success of others? Certain people adapted to the new realities of the labs and made out very good for themselves. I say good for them. This is how the rest of the world works. In the real world one always inspires to a higher position with more pay. These positions are generally leadership positions and management, so why should the labs be any different? For some strange reason there seems to a number of people at the labs that want to stay in there current positions. If that is what you want to do than that is fine but please do not whine about those hard workers with real ambition who actually want to advance in life. The whole point of a hierarchy chain is to motivate you to move up the hierarchy chain. Treating everyone as equal was already tried in the Soviet Union and it failed. If you want a raise than try and move up.

Anonymous said...

You as [sic] a very sad and pathetic person....
November 15, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Reflect much?

Anonymous said...

When does the "trickle down" start?

Anonymous said...

Reflect much?

November 15, 2014 at 7:10 AM

I either am happy to have what I have or I do something about it. You lead, follow, or get out of the way. That is life and you people need to realize that.

Anonymous said...

"Treating everyone as equal was already tried in the Soviet Union and it failed." blathers Mr/Ms November 15, 2014 at 6:43 AM, who obviously flunked history. No one was ever treated as equal in the Soviet Union, where millions deemed to be inferior were murdered or starved to death by their masters. Get it right or get off the blog!

Anonymous said...

"Not all of the compensation comes directly from taxpayer money, a significant portion comes from the private corporation that manages the Laboratory."

What obfuscation.

Should be read as "Not all of the compensation comes directly from taxpayer money, a significant portion comes indirectly from taxpayer money the private corporation that manages the Laboratory after it takes its skim."

Anonymous said...

you people....
November 15, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Generalize much?

Anonymous said...

The non-taxpayer money is compensation and pension from the parent companies.

Anonymous said...

November 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Well said.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty staggering how much more the top managers make now under the LLCs, than they did under UC. At the end of UC oversight, Miller made something over 300K a year, and that was semi-public record on printouts you could buy at the benefits desk. Now, with McMillan making 5 times that, I can guess that Goldstein must pull a comparable total. And, I can guess the second-tier managers probably pull proportionally more as well. Are the huge salary boosts worth it? You decide.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty staggering how much more the top managers make now under the LLCs, than they did under UC.

November 15, 2014 at 3:02 PM

"Staggering"?? Wow, you must be pretty unsteady on your feet. I saw the salary numbers and just thought they were in line with other large corporations with around 10,000 employees. I'm not sure what your problem is, but I'm guessing you feel underappreciated and a little jealous. Boo Hoo

Anonymous said...

"Why Privatization Doesn't Work - Part 1,371"

Anonymous said...

" Now, with McMillan making 5 times that, I can guess that Goldstein must pull a comparable total. And, I can guess the second-tier managers probably pull proportionally more as well. Are the huge salary boosts worth it? You decide."

How is it any of your business what managers make? In the real world complain about the compensation of the management would be considered a rather limiting move. Why should LLNLs be any different? The constant "privatization does not work" is getting old. Has it ever dawned on you that maybe privatization just does not work for you and that it is you that are the problem? Every year LLNLs and LANs get 85-95% ratings, sounds like privatization is working to me and many others.

Anonymous said...

"Staggering"?? Wow, you must be pretty unsteady on your feet. I saw the salary numbers and just thought they were in line with other large corporations with around 10,000 employees. I'm not sure what your problem is, but I'm guessing you feel underappreciated and a little jealous. Boo Hoo

November 15, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Pathetic little sociopathic man. By the way the lab is not a corporation, LLNS is not a corporation, and that is taxpayer money. I suppose you don't know or understand these things and would rather vent your life frustrations anonymously from the privacy of the mobile home you share with your dog, but they do matter.

Anonymous said...

Why is this apologist spend so much of its time trying to justify the outrageous salaries of senior managers by comparing them to industry? Unlike private industry, LNSLLNS are guaranteed a profit every year, regardless of major failures like NIF or WIPP. None of these managers would last a week in private industry, shareholders would tar and feather them.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like everyone at the labs are just going to have to work harder to keep management living in the wealth they are accustomed to. Just remember $1.5 million with your next 2% raise. Or better yet over the past few years where you got little or no raise, your overlords did quite well.

Anonymous said...

'Every year LLNLs and LANs get 85-95% ratings'

November 16, 2014 at 7:13 AM


Would you care to share the source for this with the rest of the blog? These numbers do not agree with those that were released about this time last year.

Perhaps someone has advance knowledge of this year's scores??

Anonymous said...

"...Every year LLNLs and LANs get 85-95% ratings..."

Grade inflation no doubt. I wonder what ratings SNL received over the same years....?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Senator Dianne Feinstein believes LANSLLNS has a credible NNSA rating system.

Anonymous said...

I don't care in the least what Sen. Feinstein thinks about anything.

Anonymous said...

You may not care what she thinks, but her reference points are sound.

Anonymous said...

"85-95% ratings" for years?

"unbelievable"..."...Why would contracts be extended if people are not performing?" Feinstein asked..."


http://www.lamonitor.com/content/congress-eyes-lab-waiver

Last year, the lab received a one-time waiver from the NNSA fee determining official — principal deputy administrator Congress eyes lab waiver

In a letter from former Los Alamos Site Office head Kevin Smith to Miller, the award term (one-year contract extension) originally was not granted. But at the bottom of the letter, the no was scratched out with a notation, “Yes. Contingent on LANS letter attached.”

Miller also granted a one-year waiver to Lawrence Livermore lab.

Miller adjusted Livermore’s fee in December, giving the lab contractor an extra $541,527 to help it meet the 80 percent mark.

The trade publication report said, House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said the agency did itself a “tremendous disservice” by granting the award term extensions when he briefly raised the issue at a subcommittee hearing on DOE project management in March.

And Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, called the decision “unbelievable” during a panel hearing in April.

“Why would contracts be extended if people are not performing?" Feinstein asked.

Anonymous said...

I cannot stand Feinstein, for a long list of excellent reasons. But she has a point here.

Anonymous said...

"I saw the salary numbers and just thought they were in line with other large corporations with around 10,000 employees."

6,000 employees and falling monthly. Not 10,000.

LLNS is not in any way analogous to a for-profit corporation, but since you insist on continually reframing the argument that way, why don't you try defending it.

What would shareholders say about a corporation leadership has managed to shrink by 40%?

Anonymous said...

LLNS is not in any way analogous to a for-profit corporation, but since you insist on continually reframing the argument that way, why don't you try defending it.

November 17, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The comment was not in any way related to the type or activity of the corporation, but only to the number of employees overall and specifically to the number reporting to each manager, and comparable salaries paid to those managers. On those metrics, LLNS/LANS is not really out of line with the rest of the private sector.

Anonymous said...

"... On those metrics, LLNS/LANS is not really out of line with the rest of the private sector..."

One needs to look at the education and experience gradient between outside private sector managers and their employees compared to pay at LANSLLNS. In many cases private sector managers learned and became proficient with employee level assignments and have moved up on that path. This is not always the case at LANSLLNS. In many cases LANSLLNS employees have education and experience levels equal to or above the managers they report to. Counting the heads reporting to each manager is not a stand alone metric to justify manager and employee salaries at LANSLLNS.

Anonymous said...

In many cases LANSLLNS employees have education and experience levels equal to or above the managers they report to.

November 17, 2014 at 8:36 PM

This is almost universally true in other high-tech industries that do research, such as space development, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, internet, communications, even small appliance development manufacturers such as whirlpool and GE. In all those examples, the managers have less technical expertise than the research employees. So what?

Anonymous said...

It's not just top leadership, but the >$200k folks and there's a lot of them. These guys/gals get away with a 9-5 job, and an attitude, it'll just have to wait till tomorrow.

Industry at these salaries, there is always urgency to get it off your plate.

Anonymous said...

In many cases LANSLLNS employees have education and experience levels equal to or above the managers they report to.

November 17, 2014 at 8:36 PM

This is the case in many high-tech research industries in the world. Think pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, space development, communications, internet, small manufacturing such as solar energy and batteries. Even in non-technical fields such as financial markets, law, and especially government policy, high-level managers are not even close to their technical-level workers in the expertise needed to be effective in the field, nor do they need to be. Really bad argument.

Anonymous said...

And for that salary of over $1.5 M per year you get leaky radioactive drums, a multi-year shut down at WIPP that will cost hundreds of millions, a fiasco with the costs and implementation of a vital security system out at TA-55, poor worker morale, rampant sexual abuse by out of control managers, a lab deputy director caught violating ethics regulations while Charlie gives her a pass on it, payoffs to political cronies like Heather Wilson, etc.

Charlie "GQ" McMillan isn't worth this salary. He's in the lowest quartile in terms of his performance.

Anonymous said...

... and specifically to the number reporting to each manager, and comparable salaries paid to those managers. On those metrics, LLNS/LANS is not really out of line with the rest of the private sector.

There are 13 managers in the management chain(s) above me. This includes 7 administrative managers and 6 programmatic managers (in all fairness, one individual is both an administrative and programmatic manager, two programmatic managers are direct-funded, and two administrative managers are part-time). This doesn't include deputies and all the management support staff. I'd say 13 levels of management at an organization with 5200 employees is out of line.

Anonymous said...

"There are 13 managers in the management chain(s) above me."

How does our number layers of management or number of managers compare with best practices of comparable corporations? I think you will find that we are in line with these. Perhaps it is you are the one with the problem?

Anonymous said...

There are 13 managers in the management chain(s) above me...I'd say 13 levels of management at an organization with 5200 employees is out of line.

November 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Not possible. You are obviously counting managers who are not in a direct reporting chain between you and the Director, e.g., employee - Team Leader - Group Leader - Division Director - Associate Director - Principle Associate Director - Director. There are not "13 levels of management." More like 6. Many of your 13 are at the same effective level. Your obvious exaggeration hurts your point.

Anonymous said...

How does our number layers of management or number of managers compare with best practices of comparable corporations? I think you will find that we are in line with these. Perhaps it is you are the one with the problem?

I assume you are being intentionally dense. Corporations with 5000 employees do not have 13 layers of management. This is the primary reason why our overhead rates are over twice as high as corporations and universities.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
How does our number layers of management or number of managers compare with best practices of comparable corporations? I think you will find that we are in line with these. Perhaps it is you are the one with the problem?November 18, 2014 at 9:03 AM

I call BS. You have never worked for a large corporation, at least not one that was not propped up by government dollars or was not a monopoly. Corporations, real ones that sell things and try to make money, cannot afford too many managers because it hurts the only thing that matters, the bottom line. They have as few managers as they can get away with, and they work them to death (but pay them very well), because that's the most efficient and adaptable way to run an organization. The labs are the opposite pole, top-heavy bureaucracies with huge overhead and Byzantine complexity, populated by people who spend far too much time creating and protecting turf.

Anonymous said...

Not possible. You are obviously counting managers who are not in a direct reporting chain between you and the Director, e.g., employee - Team Leader - Group Leader - Division Director - Associate Director - Principle Associate Director - Director. There are not "13 levels of management." More like 6. Many of your 13 are at the same effective level. Your obvious exaggeration hurts your point.

As clearly stated in my post, which obviously you didn't read, both administrative and programmatic managers are included. There are 7 layers of administrative management plus 6 layers of programmatic management. And you left out Department Head from your list.

The fact that there are two full reporting chains operating in parallel doesn't change anything. I am required to hierarchically report to 13 managers. I'm not referring to deputies, or managers in side organizations, or managers whom I only indirectly report. I'm talking about people who have direct control and say over my work and employment.

And only two of these 13 managers are funded by direct dollars. The others are funded by overhead (two of them funded part-time by overhead).

Your credibility would be enhanced if you took the time to read posts before responding. But you proved my point. What you call "not possible" because it sounds too absurd is in fact reality. The management structure and its associated costs at LLNL are out of control.

Anonymous said...

The fact that there are two full reporting chains operating in parallel doesn't change anything.

November 18, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Yes it does, it changes everything about your exaggerated claims. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Yes it does, it changes everything about your exaggerated claims. Get a clue.

Whatever. It's your credibility on the line, not mine.

As everyone else can easily see, I clearly stated that I report to 7 administrative managers and 6 programmatic managers in my two direct management chains. That's 13 managers, almost all of them funded by overhead. It may be difficult for you to admit, but regular corporations and universities do not operate with such excessive levels of management burden.

Anonymous said...

"That's 13 managers, almost all of them funded by overhead. It may be difficult for you to admit, but regular corporations and universities do not operate with such excessive levels of management burden.

November 18, 2014 at 8:17 PM"

You are simply dishonest. It is at best 6 layers and this has to be even or less than in comparison with other corporations. There are also many university presidents that make one and half million dollars or more in a year. LLNs and LANS have just been brought to the modern age. Why are you people having such a problem with this?

Anonymous said...

That's 13 managers, almost all of them funded by overhead.

November 18, 2014 at 8:17 PM

In what organization are managers NOT "funded by overhead"??? Hint: in non-government private-sector companies, EVERYONE is "funded by overhead," i.e., by the profits generated by the company.

Anonymous said...

November 18, 2014 at 8:40 PM, you have no clue what corporations do, and neither LLNS nor LANS are corporations anyway. Most of the time people who don't know what they are talking about keep quiet and learn, but you just keep digging.

Anonymous said...

We seem to be focused on the reward side for managers but not the risk. In the private sector, if the manager fails, he or she is removed or they voluntarily resign. The company stakeholders expect to have successful managers because the stakeholders have material "skin in the game".

At LANSLLNS managers are not held accountable or responsible for their failures compared to the real world. At best they are moved laterally with the same salary in tow. There are many recent LANSLLNS failures that support this no risk or minimal risk for our senior level managers. Where are the stakeholders?

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone who has consulted across a broad range of industries over a 30 year period, I can confidently state that LLNL has at least 2-3x the overhead positions of the corporate world.

Some US companies used to be as fat as LLNL, but that all got taken care of in a massive elimination of middle management and overhead staff positions in the 1980s.

From the mid-90s on, no corporation has run with anything like the LLNL ratio.

Anonymous said...

"13 managers, almost all of them funded by overhead"

I think this is the correct metric.

It is more clear to focus not on layers of management, but on raw numbers of folks on overhead vs direct positions -- and by that I mean truly direct positions (people doing material work on the projects, not just everyone charging the project directly).

Anonymous said...

"13 managers, almost all of them funded by overhead"

I think this is the correct metric.

It is more clear to focus not on layers of management, but on raw numbers of folks on overhead vs direct positions -- and by that I mean truly direct positions (people doing material work on the projects, not just everyone charging the project directly).

Anonymous said...


You haters make me sick. This is America where anyone can work hard or use the brains to become a millionaire. When you dump on the LANL director you are also dumping on the dream of many other people. Why are you jealous of another persons success? You should applaud that success and try to emulate it. This could be you if you work hard enough or use your talents wisely. Let a hater hate, but at the same time let a dreamer dream. There are many people who worked hard or utilized the talents given to them to become high level management at the labs.

Anonymous said...

"h8er", are you, like, 12 years old?

Anonymous said...

Don't you just hate those haters?

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