Seems the execs at DoubleClick are patting their own backs and padding their pockets for their miserable performance this year as they crew the Titantic.

This week, it was DoubleClick's (DCLK:Nasdaq - commentary - research) turn. The advertising services firm -- which spent much of the year disappointing analysts with quarterly results or announcing it had retained Lazard Freres "to explore strategic options" -- said Monday that it had implemented retention agreements for its top five officers.

Should they hang around for the next five months, most of them will get a $150,000 reward for their troubles -- in addition, of course, to their regular salary. Should they manage to drag themselves into the office for another nine months, they'll earn another $300,000. Should anyone get canned before then, his retention bonus will pay off in full.

So once again, the golden parachute is going to employees who have had the greatest opportunity already to construct their own safety net. Isn't that great?

Of course, we're sure that someone will argue that you have to be pragmatic about this. (DoubleClick itself declined to comment.) You have to assume, the argument goes, that these execs are self-interested and won't hang around DoubleClick unless the company makes it worth their while. And if these key executives leave, the whole value of the enterprise will suffer. So it's in DoubleClick shareholders' best interest to dangle these rewards in front of them -- as unfair as the arrangement might look.

Our response? If these are the executives who led DoubleClick to this moment in its corporate life, perhaps the company would be better off without them. We bet that more than a few DoubleClick investors would be interested in testing that theory.