If you ever needed to see a microcosm of the motivation behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, look no further than the outrageous compensation packages of big-time corporate executives.
5. Jon Corzine; MF Global
This ex-Goldman Sachs honcho and former New Jersey governor drove MF Global into the ground during his time as CEO there. The company actually cannot account for billions of dollars in client funds. Like any good chief executive, Corzine has no idea where all the money went.
Of course, Jon was a little distracted as, while the company was looking for the money, Corzine was renegotiating his compensation package.
Despite this blatant show of incompetence, MF Global still agreed to pay Corzine a $1.5 million retention bonus. Now that he’s stepped down as CEO, though, he will receive a $100 million severance package!
4. Leo Apotheker; Hewlett-Packard
As CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Leo Apotheker was a dud. The former CEO of German software giant SAP joined HP in November of last year. After watching the company’s stock plummet for ten months, Apotheker cashed out.
Don’t feel bad for poor Leo, though. His $25 million package included $7.2 million in severance pay, a $2.4 million bonus, and shares awarded for performance. Must be nice.
3. Bob Pittman; Clear Channel
Bob Pittman knows a lot about music. He was one of the founders of MTV and the former head of AOL.
When Pittman hired on, Clear Channel said it would provide him with a Dassault-Breguet Mystere Falcon 900 for personal and business use. Then, the company further disclosed it would pay $3 million to lease a jet for Pittman’s use.
2. Aubrey McClendon; Chesapeake Energy
In May 2009, Chesapeake Energy spent $12.1 million of shareholders’ money to buy an antique map collection owned by McClendon, the company’s chairman and CEO. The company said the map collection added to the natural beauty of the corporation’s campus and was on par with its history of exploration of oil and gas.
Really, though, the maneuver was aimed at bailing out McClendon, who had gotten himself into deep trouble by putting up his shares in the company as collateral for other debt and, in 2008, faced significant margin calls.
The company’s shareholders sued and, as part of the settlement, McClendon agreed to buy the maps back for $12.1 million, plus interest. Oh, and the interest rate was a mere 2.28 percent. The company also agreed to pay $3.75 million to cover the plaintiff’s legal fees.
1. Eugene Isenberg; Nabors Industries
This company has a long history of executive compensation abuse, and the use of private jets by company executives has led to an SEC investigation.
In October, Nabors Industries disclosed that Isenberg, who had been CEO since 1987, was stepping down. The company announced that it “intends to record a $100 million contingent liability, to be reflected in its fourth-quarter results and year-end financial statements, in light of provisions in Mr. Isenberg’s employment agreement.”
So Isenberg got to leave with a cool $100 mil. I think most of us would be happy with 1/100th of that amount.
There you have it…your top 5 offenders in the “1 percent.” More in the video below.