Working for just $1 a year to run one of the biggest tech companies in the world would seem at first glance to be a thankless task. Yet that is just what the newly appointed CEO and President of HP, Meg Whitman, has pledged to do. In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, HP confirmed that Whitman would be taking a base salary of just $1 a year to be in charge of the troubled company.
In addition to her tiny base salary, Whitman will be able to purchase a total of 1.9 million shares of HP stock over an eight year period. The filing states that most of that stock can not be sold by Whitman until HP's stock rises 120 percent higher that its current price. Whitman will receive an annual bonus of $2.4 million in HP's 2012 fiscal year which could go up to 2.5 times that amount if certain "performance conditions" are met.
HP's former CEO, Leo Apotheker, was kicked to the curb by HP's board last week, less than a year after he was hired. But you shouldn't feel too bad for him. The regulatory filing states that Apotheker will get a tidy "golden parachute" severance package of $7.2 million from HP for his trouble in helping to lower its market value by $38 billion. He's also getting $3.56 million in HP stock and yet another $2.4 million bonus.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, other tech leaders, including now former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, have taken a $1 a year salary to run their companies.