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The Elusive Vacation


With July 4th falling on Wednesday this year, many executives took off the entire week, or at least the two days before or after the holiday. However, in today’s world of the Internet, smart phones and a plethora of devices to keep us connected, most executives are never really on vacation and go off the grid.

Yet even the ability to remain connected away from the office hasn’t enticed the working public to make time for leisure. Americans took an average of 16.2 vacation days last year, down from an average of 20.3 days between 1976 and 2000, according to a recent study by Project Time Off, a lobby group. So it appears that we not only take less time off of work, but we also remain connected to the office when we do take days off.

As for CEOs, it appears they have some work to do when it comes to not working as much. A recent investigation of US company filings by Bloomberg identified a large group of leaders who are owed thousands of dollars for unused vacation time.

Before Amazon acquired Whole Foods, CEO Walter Robb had accrued 2,703 hours of unused vacation leave, or the equivalent of 338 eight-hour days, over several decades. Other CEOs found to have amassed tons of leave include Qualcomm’s Steven Mollenkopf, HCA Holdings’ R. Milton Johnson and Apple’s Tim Cook.

Let’s not feel too bad for these guys, but do they ever really unplug, relax and recharge? I doubt it.


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