"If you're a senior executive at a company that's going bankrupt, I think you have a fiduciary responsibility . . . to make a proper exit," Williamson said. "I don't think you need to necessarily be [attracted] by bonuses . . . in order to do what you should be doing anyway."
Kevin Noonan, an analyst at The Yankee Group in Boston, also said such retention bonuses aren't out of the ordinary. "[But] the unfortunate thing with this is that they appear to be doing it after the fact," when the shutdown of Pets.com was already in the cards, he said.
The timing of the deals creates "the feeling that they're not stay-on bonuses but a way to get some cash out to these people" to thank them for their previous work, Noonan said.
And claiming that all 10 executives are needed to wind down the company's operations may be "excessive," he added.
Due to get $75,000 bonuses are the vice presidents in charge of merchandising, distribution and customer service, among others.