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Fortunes For Failures: The Most Controversial Exit Packages of the Decade

FORTUNES FOR FAILURES *min. THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL EXIT PACKAGES OF THE DECADE WHILE MOST RANK-AND-FILE COMPANY EMPLOYEES WOULD BE HAPPY IF THEY RECEIVED SEVERAL MONTHS'WORTH OF SEVERANCE PAY IN THE EVENT OF A JOB LOSS, THE SAME DOES NOT ALWAYS APPLY TO TOP EXECUTIVES. BELOW ARE SOME OF THE MOST TRAGIC CEO FAILURES OF THE LAST DECADE, MANY RESULTING IN THE LOSS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. THEIR PUNISHMENT: COLOSSAL EXIT PACKAGES TO ENSURE THEY WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORK AGAIN. $210m 4800,000,000 Robert Nardelli William McGuire UnitedHealth Group Home Depot's share price fell HOME DEPOT 8% during Mr. Nardelli tenure, while chief competitor Lowe's stock rose 188% during the McGuire initially received around $1.6 same period. Yet, he walked billion in options, which he secured on a away with a package then day when the company's stock price was valued at $210, including $20 especially low. But he was asked to step million in cash severance. down after the IRS and federal prosecu- tors found him guilty of defrauding share- JAN. 2007 6 YEARS AS CEO holders. He eventually returned $600 million in various payback agreements, but still retained $800 million in options. 15 YEARS AS CEo DEC. 1, 2006 $83m $161.5m BANK OF AMERICA Ken Lewis Although he gave up his salary and bonus in 2009, in Stanley O'Neal MERRILL LYNCH 2010 Lewis became eligible Despite steering the company into for $83 million in pension an $8.4 billion loss and seeking a benefits, deferred compen- merger with Wachovia Bank with- sation and vested and out consulting his board of direc- unvested stock. tors, O'Neal went home with 8 YEARS AS CE DEC. 31, 2009 securities and retirement benefits at the time valued at $161.5 million. 4 YEARS AS CEO $82m 2007 PFIZER $44m Henry McKinnell McKinnell stepped down after the company's stock Angelo Mozilo COUNTRYWIDE value lost 40% while he was Mozilo, the co-founder of Countrywide, at the helm. helped make the company one of the JUL. 28, 2006 country's leading mortgage lenders. Unfor- tunately, he led the mortgage provider into 5 YEARS AS CEO the heart of the subprime mess-9 e say he played a big role in causing it. The com- pany was bought by Bank of America. $42m 39 YEARS AS CEO 2008 CITIGROUP Charles Prince $34-5m Prince stepped down from his position after the company HEWLETT PACKARD wrote down an estimated $11 Mark Hurd billion on his watch. Hurd resigned abruptly following accusa- NOV. 4, 2007 tions of an inappropriate personal rela- tionship with a contractor of the company. 4 YEARS AS CEO HP is now suing Hurd to prevent his joining competitor Oracle, which it says would violate the confidentiality agree- ment included in his severance package. 5 YEARS AS CEO AUG. 2010 $11m $18.4m MERRILL LYNCH John Thain BP Negotiated the merger with Tony Hayward Bank of America, but not before Hayward was at the helm at he spent $1.2 million decorating the time of the Gulf oil spill, his office and rushed out $3 which has cost BP sharehold- billion in company bonuses. He ers nearly 40% of stock value was also paid more than $83 since April. million in 2007. OCT. 1, 2010 JAN. 22, 2009 1YEAR AS CEO 3 YEARS AS CEO

Fortunes For Failures: The Most Controversial Exit Packages of the Decade

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When a typical rank-and-file employee loses his or her job, the most they could hope for is several months’ worth of salary and extended benefits — and that’s only in case they were laid off. Bu...



Ross Crooks


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