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HP gives Meg Whitman Jobs-like $1 salary, Apotheker $13m

updated 07:05 pm EDT, Thu September 29, 2011

HP patterns Whitman CEO salary after Apple

HP in an SEC filing late Thursday outlined the payments for incoming CEO Meg Whitman and recently fired CEO Leo Apotheker. Hoping to tie Whitman's pay to performance, the company is emulating former chief Steve Jobs' model and paying her a base $1 per year. While she will get a company-standard $2.4 million bonus every year, her real pay will depend on how much HP's share value has grown over time.

She will have the option of buying as many as 1.9 million stock options, but these will vest over eight years and will only reach their peak value if HP's stock value rises at least 40 percent. At current values, they would be worth $45.2 million. About 100,000 per year for the first three years are guaranteed to vest regardless, but sets of 800,000 shares on Whitman's first- and second-year anniversaries are contingent on her pumping the stock value to respective 120 and 140 percent values for at least 20 days.

Although it was never in question with Jobs, Whitman's severance package is just $1.50 and discourages her from quitting for another firm.

Apotheker, meanwhile, is being paid a large amount to reduce the ill will from his forced departure. He will be paid $7.2 million in core severance over the course of 1.5 years and will also be given a quickly accelerated $3.56 million stock cash-in. Along with the $2.4 million bonus and expenses to move back to Europe, the CEO should be paid about $13.5 million.

The pay is less than half the $28 million Apotheker would normally have been paid with a more graceful exit but is high enough that he might have difficulty suing over an unfair dismissal.

Changes in policy hint at HP wanting more immediate results of any new company leader. Apotheker was brought on hastily as HP just wanted a stable choice in the light of the Mark Hurd scandal. His leadership and a near 50 percent plunge in share prices eventually led to the board of directors mounting a plan to push him out.

While Whitman is being given a Jobs-like responsibility at HP, she has so far hinted there might be no change in strategy from the same CEO that was just fired. Many have questioned its decision to exit mobile hardware and consider scrapping PCs, since they would both cut it out of the mobile computing future and get rid of its core public identity as a PC builder. [via AllThingsD]

by MacNN Staff




    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is so pathetic. They cannot even figure out on their own how to pay their people. But the good thing is that they are copying the master. Now I am very doubtful they will ever achieve the same success as Apple but at least they are trying. I think HP is heading the Compaq way. They will be brought out by Acer or ASUS or Dell.

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who the heck isn't emulating Jobs

    "Hoping to tie Whitman's pay to performance, the company is emulating former chief Steve Jobs' model and paying her a base $1 per year. "

    Jeff Bezzos Kindle Fire presentation.... Mark Zuckerburgs F8... presentation holy c*** people get your own sense of style.... damn I'm starting to think Jobs should start his own clothing and mens colone line.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    First, you had Fiorina, who...

    Carly Fiorina though that she was some kind of rockstar, but she clearly wasn't and was clueless.

    I must give HP credit for copying Apple's products much much earlier than Dell, but come on.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They all

    They all copy. Even the venues, presentation, style of wear (Ballmer is hopeless) , talking points....PATHETHIC. Worse they put down Apple and Jobs or gives no credit. All knows how foolish they look copying Apple again and again.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesn't matter what Ballmer wears


  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tax dodge?

    What are the tax implications of a low salary and a bonus vs. a high salary?

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