Internet Evolution’s Robert McGarvey has calculated using publicly available data that HP’s repeated ousting of CEOs has cost the company $80 million in “golden parachute” payouts.
Since 2003 HP has been through 3 CEOs, and each have commanded a rather hefty severance package. McGarvey writes:
Start in 2005 with the ouster of Carly Fiorina, who was forced out because the board was disappointed with the lack of stock market enthusiasm for the Compaq merger. It was reported at the time that Fiorina walked out the door with $21.4 million.
But then there were the deal sweeteners. Factor in options, restricted stock, and her pension, and Fiorina pulled in another $21 million, putting her farewell jackpot at over $42 million.
For six years on the job.
Next out: Mark Hurd, who was fired amid a Silicon Valley soap opera involving allegedly bogus expense report filings and an affair with a consultant. Hurd, of course, landed on his feet at Oracle, and that resulted in a smaller severance. In a deal that let him keep his Oracle job as co-president, Hurd waived rights to roughly 350,000 performance-based stock units. Yet he still sauntered out the HP door with a reported $12.2 million.
Not bad for four years on the job.
Now it is Leo Apotheker’s turn. With just 11 months in the CEO chair, Apotheker was fired Thursday and will walk away with a reported $25.2 million in severance pay.
Is Meg Whitman the one to save HP? After all, she did spend close to $120 million in a failed attempt to become the Governor of California which means she is going nowhere fast. Will she been the one that ends this half-decade of drama?