The employee stock ownership plan was crucial in fending off a hostile company takeover. But as Polaroid’s fortunes waned in the late 1990s, the ESOP became a source of frustration. Employees couldn’t sell their shares until they left the company. As Polaroid’s stock sank, employees saw a big piece of their life savings evaporate. Meanwhile, executives who owned shares outside the plan were free to sell.
Pictured: Les Embrey was one of the employees assigned to deliver $47 Polaroid retirement checks.