From Prospect.org's Beat the Press, summarizing this piece from the Washington Post:
The basic story is that last March, the wise men who run Circuit City came up with the brilliant idea of laying off their more senior salespeople, who get $14-$15 an hour, and replacing them with new hires who get around $9 an hour. It turns out that this move was not very good for business. One of the reasons that people go to a store like Circuit City, rather than buying things on the Internet, is that they want to be able to talk to a knowledgeable salesperson. Since Circuit City had laid off their knowledgeable salespeople, there was little reason to shop there. ... The Post reports that Circuit City's executive vice-presidents will get retention awards of $1 million each.
The good news is that this will now kill the company, preventing it from happening again; the bad news is that these executives will probably get new jobs at a new company instead of being rousted from their beds by out-of-work salespeople and perforated by pitchfork.