The Twisted Saga of Mercury Marine

When the nominations for the 2009 Corporate Hall of Shame are unveiled, it should come as no surprise to see Mercury Marine and parent company Brunswick Corporation leading a very crowded pack.

While Mercury Marine, the Fond du Lac, WI-based engine builder, appeared to be an early favorite to take top honors in the Most Offensive Outsourcing category, it now appears that executives of Mercury’s parent company, Brunswick Corp., are also on track to take home the prized Bernard Madoff Lifetime Achievement Award.

According to The Twisted Saga of Mercury Marine,’ a study just released by the non-profit Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (IWF), top executives at Lake Forest, IL-based Brunswick Corp. orchestrated a competition between Wisconsin and Oklahoma to see which state could provide the lowest labor costs and the highest tax incentives.

Meanwhile, Mercury Marine/Brunswick didn’t pay a dime of income tax in Wisconsin since 2000, according to the IWF report and records obtained from the Department of Revenue.

Click here to read the full report.

“The story of Mercury Marine is a sad documentary on how large corporations can reward executives for failure while dismantling the manufacturing structures that generate real value,” said the IWF report, which was particularly critical of Brunswick CEO Dustin McCoy, who collected over $10 million in compensation between 2006 and 2008, while 5,300 workers lost their jobs and the company’s stock fell a whopping 71 percent.

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