Big send-offs at IBM and Gannett, a sweetheart jet deal at Clear Channel, and a penalty for talking at Icahn Enterprises headline October's top executive compensation goodies. As she does every month, Footnoted.com editor Michelle Leder stopped by to discuss some of the choice nuggets buried in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In the accompanying video, we delve into the specifics.
Into the Big Blue Yonder. After a successful nine-year run at the helm of the company, IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano stepped down. But the 60-year-old executive left with some great parting gifts. IBM has known as Big Blue, but given the generosity of Palmisano's package, perhaps it should be called Big Green. The total deal, Footnoted.com reports, is worth more than $170 million, including: a $65.7 million cash payout for stock options and restricted stock units; $1.5 million for life from a retention plan; $4.9 million per year in cash for five years; and a big fat pension that was worth $29.8 million as of the end of last year.
Yes He Icahn. Carl Icahn, the long-time corporate raider and hedge fund manager, known for making hay over rich compensation packages at other companies. But he's not above striking a few of his own at his firm, Icahn Enterprises. Typically, the carrot of compensation is enough to keep financial executives around. And a new deal Icahn Enterprises struck with deputy Vinent J. Intrieri will pay him $6.5 million in salary with a potential sweetener if his contract is renewed at the end of 2013. But this deal also contains a stick — Intrieri will have to pay back $600,000 if he talks to another money management outfit or tries to start his own hedge fund. As Footnoted.com notes, "the noted investor has lost several key members of his team over the past year, and this was a way to ensure that wouldn't happen again.
Ground Control to Major Bob. Bob Pittman has long been a media high-flyer.He founded MTV and went on to run AOL and Six Flags. At his current position, as CEO of radio giant Clear Channel, Pittman will continue to soar with the eagles courtesy of the shareholders. He's got access to a plane so fancy that you need French 101 to pronounce its name. In addition to his salary and a guaranteed bonus, Footnoted.com reports, "the company promised that it will make a Dassault-Breguet Mystere Falcon 900 available for Pittman's business and personal use; and - if a company plane isn't available when Pittman wants to use one - it will charter a private aircraft for his business and personal use."
Extra! Extra! Gannett, the large newspaper company, has been suffering for years as it tries to weather the switch from print to digital. But it's Chairman and CEO, Craig Dubow, who stepped down in October for health-related reasons, got a nice send-off: compensation likely worth more than $30 million, plus "permission to keep office equipment, secretarial assistance, and use of the company plane for three years (although he has to pay for it)."
Daniel Gross is economics editor at Yahoo! Finance
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