It is good to see that more and more main stream media outlets are making a more fullsome and realistic accounting of what Ex-CEO Fred Hassan’s severance package was really worth, in equity values, to him. Recall that in late 2009, it was widely reported that he was “only getting” around $50 million to leave Schering-Plough, on merger day. [UPDATING NOTE FOR GRAPHIC, AT RIGHT: Add about $4.4 million for each additional dollar of Merck NYSE stock price, above the last SGP quoted NYSE price of $28.15, on merger day, November 3, 2009 — and with Merck at around $38.50 on the NYSE this morning, the chart at right would yield. . . yep, about $220 to $225 million for Fred Hassan.]
While ABC still isn’t fully valuing the equity (by my calcuations, Mr. Hassan carted off around $225 million — which would place him at No. 4 or 5 on the list), it does peg his exit pay at just under $190 million — which places him at No. 7, all-time.
Just a bit from the ABC article then — do go read it all:
. . . .21 CEOs over $100 million
Company | CEO Name | Tenure | Total Payout
1. General Electric | John F. Welch Jr. | 1981-2001 | $417,361,902
2. Exxon Mobil Corp. | Lee R. Raymond | 1993-2005 | $320,599,861
3. UnitedHealth Group | William D. McGuire | 1991-2006 | $285,996,009
4. AT&T Edward E. Whitacre Jr. | 1990-2007 | $230,048,463
5. Home Depot Inc. | Robert L. Nardelli 2000-2007 | $223,290,123
6. North Fork Bank | John A. Kanas | 1977-2006 | $214,300,000
8. IBM | Louis V. Gerstner Jr. | 1993-2002 | $189,005,929
9. Pfizer Inc. | Hank A. McKinnell Jr. | 2001-2006 | $188,329,553
10. CVS Caremark Corp. | Thomas M. Ryan | 1998-2011 | $185,415,435
11. Gillette Co. | James M. Kilts | 2001-2005 | $164,532,192
12. Target Corp. | Robert J. Ulrich | 1994-2008 | $164,162,612
13. Merrill Lynch & Co. | E. Stanley O’Neal | 2002-2007 | $161,500,000
14. U.S. Bancorp | Jerry A. Grundhofer | 2001-2006 | $159,064,090
15. Omnicare, Inc. | Joel F. Gemunder | 2001-2010 | $146,001,476
16. Wachovia/South Trust | Wallace D. Malone Jr. | 1981-2004 | $125,292,818. . . .
Fred Hassan ahead of Louis Gerstner at IBM, and Stan O’Neal at Merrill Lynch? I am sorry, but that is. . . disgusting.
To be clear, I will never begrudge Jack Welch (No. 1) his walking pay — for whatever else one might say about the man, he truly enhanced shareholder value at GE by orders of magnitude — not just percentages. Hassan is precisely the opposite story — a bridge troll, and one that required payment, to get a deal done — i.e., to cross the bridge.