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Ex-HP-CEO Leo Apotheker is leaving Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) with as much as $23 million in severance, stock, and bonus payments -- maybe more. He'll also get relocation and legal expenses on top. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers stare, open-mouthed, at the size of the payment.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Sri Lankan/Candian politician Photoshops her own pic...
When Apotheker signed on...he agreed to a base salary of $1.2 million [plus] an annual bonus of 200 percent to 500 percent. ... He received hundreds of thousands of shares under various stock plans...a $4 million signing bonus and an additional $4.6 million for relocation expenses and other payments. ... At the time Apotheker took over, HP had just agreed to pay Mark Hurd...more than $12 million...following accusations of sexual harassment. ... His payout was about half of that received by Carly Fiorina...who got more than $21 million when she was forced out in 2005.
Arik Hesseldahl adds it all up:
He will receive...$7.2 million payable in installments...vesting of 156,000 shares...valued at $3,557,800...424,000 of the 728,000 performance-based restricted stock units...under his contract. Apotheker has waived his right to receive the remaining 304,000 PRUs. ... Hell only get them if HP hits its annual cash flow targets...another $10 million. ... An annual bonus of $2.4 million...relocation expense back to Europe, and up to $300,000 coverage he incurs on the loss of the sale of his $7 million, six-bedroom house. ... Health benefits or payment for health insurance premiums for Apotheker and his family for 18 months...[and] legal fees.
Devin Coldewey is green with astonishment:
I understand that this high pay is part of our business culture, but really, now. ... Apotheker...[is] leaving with millions in cash and stock, and HP will even be paying for the lawyers who negotiated the package. ... Apothekers...handling of Palm and webOS is wide open to criticism. It...needed to be shaped while it was hot...he didnt do that, and now its a billion-dollar boondoggle. ... His big move to split up the business was certainly ballsy, but so was the charge of the light brigade.
Timothy Prickett-Morgan registers some context:
Apotheker, who was not asked to stay on...[at] SAP in February 2010...clearly wanted and needed a big-time job like the one he snagged at HP...to vindicate himself. But it was never clear why HP hired Apotheker. ... There's an old saying, variously attributed to Mae West, Sophie Tucker, W.C. Fields, and others..."I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better."
Meanwhile, Drew Olanoff is stoic:
Apotheker was CEO of HP for 11 months. ... In short, it can obviously be expensive to hire and then remove a CEO from a publicly traded tech company.