For Americans struggling with stagnating wages and high unemployment, executive compensation can easily trigger anger. That frustration will likely intensify amid word that recent deals have turned retiring CEOs into $100 million men, USA Today reported.
Gene Isenberg, formerly CEO of Nabors Industries, is due $126 million when he exits as chairman, USA Today reported. IBM's CEO, Sam Palmisano, who is set to leave his post on January 1, has a departure package valued at $170 million, USA Today reported.
After receiving just $1 a year in salary since 2004, outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt is getting a nice, fat $100 million 'thank you and farewell' present, CNN Money reported earlier this year.
Schmidt relinquished his title as CEO to become executive chairman. The $100 million is a stock-and-options package. CNN Money reported that it has a four-year vesting period, which means that he's got to stick around at the company until at least 2015 to fully cash it out.
Though executive departure packages commonly have some stipulations, they are still drawing increasing amounts of attention and criticism.
Eleanor Bloxham of TheValue Alliance described Schmidt's package as “totally over the top,” USA Today reported.
Even more, Reuters recently reported that an Institute of Policy Studies report found that some of the nation's top CEOs are getting more money than their companies are paying in taxes.
This revelation prompted Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to call for hearings on executive compensation, said Reuters.
Investors can also take a stance against such excesses.
The Herald Tribune reminded investors that a corporation has an obligation to place the well-being of its shareholders, and its employees, above that of its executives.
Therefore, from an investment perspective, you should seek out those companies that demonstrate a fair and efficient management style that extends to the executive suite, while avoiding those in which management is self-serving, the Tribune reported.
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