It seems that one cannot help gaping at accidents on the highway or reading, mouth half open, about the severance packages senior executives get when their companies change hands. Getting the old guard out is all very Machiavellian of course, and I agree it’s a good idea. Of course we don’t (generally) tip hemlock into people’s chalices anymore, so we hat to pay them to go away.
My own fascination isn’t populist horror — I’m about as far from a populist as one can get and not actually be a member of the nobility. And I’ve been around senior executives and boards long enough to understand the work involved in leading a company, especially a failing one, and to understand that these packages are often necessary to keep execs from bailing on companies for easier, and greener, pastures. I like markets, not limits, and I think that people should be compensated at whatever level the market will bear.
With all that, I present to you The Register’s reporting on the executive severance packages at Sun
Sun, meanwhile, has estimated what senior management’s severance package will look like.
Schwartz will get a $12m package that includes $9m in pay; McNealy $9.5m including $7.5m in pay; executive vice president of systems John Fowler $3.3m, including $2.3m pay; executive vice president for application platform software Anil Gadre $2.7m, including $2.08m in pay; and chief technology officer and executive vice president of research and development Greg Papadopoulos $3.7m, including $2.8m in pay.
These severance benefits will come into effect should they leave Sun either voluntarily or involuntarily – read resign, fired, or laid off – 12 months after the deal.