Big housing allowances, massive payouts for sealing deals, a potential ten-figure payment for blowing a deal, and an awesome international case of pay for underperformance.
Yes, it's that time again. Michelle Leder of Footnoted.com joins us to discuss some of corporate America's biggest outrages and adventures in executive compensation. September's crop, discussed in the accompanying video, includes:
eBay's Home Economics. To lure Thomson Reuters executive Devin Wenig to move across the country and take a post as President of eBay Marketplaces, the giant internet firm offered some nice goodies: a salary of $750,000 and $2.4 million in restricted stock to start, a $10,000 monthly temporary housing allowance, and frequent travel for Wenig and his family from coast to coast (business class of course). Then there's this: a $1 million "home purchase payment" that he can apply toward the acquisition of a starter mansion. That should be enough for a down payment — even in Silicon Valley.
Paper Company Prints Money—for Bosses. In September, Temple-Inland agreed to be acquired by International Paper for $3.7 billion. If the deal comes to fruition, it'll represent a nice payday for Temple-Inland investors, and a fantastic payday for top Temple-Inland executives. As Footnoted.com found, CEO Doyls Simons stand to reap $61.4 million: "29.6 million in equity, $6.2 million in retirement benefits, $8.8 million cash (both severance and prorated bonus for the year of termination) and three years of continued benefits." And so he doesn't have to pay taxes on all this compensation, the company will give him another $16.6 million to send to the Internal Revenue Service.
Motorola's $3.5 billion Kiss-Off. Over the summer, Google agreed to acquire Motorola's Mobility unit for $12.5 billion. But there are obstacles to the deal being completed: another buyer could come along, Google could, in a rare move, decide to be evil and walk way; or the government could put the kibosh on the merger because of concerns over competition. Should that happen, however, Motorola's shareholders won't walk away empty-handed. The deal includes a clause stipulating that Google has to pay Motorola a $2.5 billion "reverse termination fee" if it can't bring the acquisition to fruition, and that Google could be on the hook for another $1 billion if the government refuses permission.
H-P's expensive Auf Wiedersehen. Leo Apotheker, the former CEO of German software company SAP, was hired with great fanfare as CEO of struggling computer company H-P last fall. Ten months later, he was dismissed with a little less fanfare — and a lot of loot. His sending off gift included a huge severance package: $7.2 million in cash, plus $18 million in stock. Also, he'll get $300,000 in relocation assistance plus cash to cover higher taxes levied on income if he chooses to move to France or Belgium.
Daniel Gross is economics editor at Yahoo! Finance
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @grossdm