Yum Brands' profits slumped hard last year as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered restaurants around the U.S. That didn't stop the fast-food giant from awarding its CEO a multimillion-dollar bonus.

The company, whose restaurant brands include KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, disclosed in a recent regulatory filing that CEO David Gibbs had failed to qualify for a hefty payout because of the company's 25% drop in earnings in 2020. Yet Yum's board of directors also said it was "unfair" for the executive to give up his bonus just because of the pandemic's adverse impact on the company's financial results.

As a result, the board decided to make what it called "discretionary adjustments." Instead of a $0 bonus, Gibbs got $9.5 million. But Yum isn't alone, with other companies also opting to award generous rewards despite their financial struggles.

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