The thing is you literally CANNOT talk about this in a global sense. You have to talk about individual companies. If you want to talk about a particular company, please talk about them. Generically talking about "management" and "bonus metrics" and "many big companies" is pointless. Do some CEOs have bonuses tied to share price? Sure. Smarter ones have share prices tied to market cap. But like I said, a buyback is only bad in the same sense a credit card is bad. Dumb people can abuse it. Dumb people can and do also abuse dividends.