Re: It's a shame, really
I'd love to be able to disagree, but I can't.
Personally, I place most of the blame on the MBA idea of making stock options part of the executive compensation package. It was a good idea, and definitely worth trying, but the experiment has clearly not just failed, but backfired spectacularly. Add to that the bullshit idea that company executives have a fiduciary duty to shareholders -- even the person who came up with this idea has since disavowed it, claiming he never intended it in the way people have come to interpret it -- and you've got the recipe for what we see today.
Top executives routinely mortgaging the company's future for profits today, and since they tend to play musical chairs every couple of years, the odds of any one of them being left holding the bag for the damage done is minimal. Even then, they likely have "golden parachute" clauses in their contracts that mean they get paid ahead of anyone else in the event the company goes bankrupt. You see things like what's going on at Salesforce, where they cut 10% of their staff claiming dire financial straits, then a mere couple of months later they announce they're going to go on a hiring binge.* It sort of reminds me of the old joke about classes you need to take to become a plumber: Showing Your Crack and Advanced Showing Your Crack.
* Bootnote: I once interviewed for a job at Salesforce. What a total shitshow. The job description I was given by the recruiter was for your basic helpdesk role (I was just starting out in my career at the time) and then apparently they decided to mash that together with like a mid-level IT security role, while paying an entry-level helpdesk role salary. For... reasons, they decided to have me talk to someone because they grew up maybe 100 miles or so from me. Not sure what that was about, but then I'm just left sitting in a conference room for for like 20-30 minutes. I was literally just about to get up and try to find my own way out when eventually the hiring manager comes back to show me out. This was also before Smartphones as we know them now, so it's not like I could just dick around on my phone while I waited, I was literally just left sitting there and the only real entertainment was watching the occasional person walk by.