One of the perks of owning my business is that I get to work at home, something that’s both comfortable and saves gas money. I also get to set my own hours, which tends to be most of them, at least when I’m awake.
But there are people out there who get much better perks than mine, and they don’t even own a business – they just run one for the people that do. They’re CEOs of publicly traded companies, and the people who own the businesses they run are shareholders – people like you and me.
DailyFinance.com just put out a story about some of the most over-the-top perks handed out to CEOs this year. And as you read these examples, keep in mind that directly or indirectly the people who really own these companies – the shareholders – approved every penny. How many of these perks do you get at your job?
Apparently this guy doesn’t know you can get TurboTax for $29.95
Part of Occidental Petroleum CEO Ray Irani’s $31.4 million dollar compensation package includes $391,000 for personal tax preparation and financial planning. I don’t remember what I spent on those things last year, but I think it was less than that.
How to Re-float an underwater mortgage
When Richard Anderson moved from Minneapolis to Atlanta to work for Delta Airlines, he faced the same issue lots of people are facing these days: an underwater mortgage. But Delta’s $772,000 in relocation costs brought him back to the surface. Of course, he needs the help, because he makes a paltry $2.25 million a year. No word on whether Delta’s re-floating the mortgages of other employees.
This company paid for the lawyer hired to negotiate against them
Did you hire professional help to negotiate the salary where you work? If the answer is no, that could explain why Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz made $39 million last year and you didn’t. Of course, hiring a lawyer to negotiate for you isn’t cheap – Bartz paid $110,000 for hers. Oh, wait – no she didn’t. Yahoo picked up the tab. Well, at least Yahoo’s stockholders were richly rewarded for their generosity, since Yahoo stock is doing so well. Oh, wait – no it isn’t.
Here’s something common – relocation expenses
When Ray Elliot took the job as CEO for Boston Scientific last year, part of his $33.4 million in compensation included $1.3 million for relocation expenses. Rather than pay movers, I usually just sell the stuff I leave behind and buy new stuff where I’m going – guess he didn’t think of that.
Just to be on the safe side
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s compensation for 2009 was $84.5 million, earning him the prize for top-paid CEO. But that’s no reason that Oracle’s shareholders shouldn’t help him out further by shelling out an extra $1.4 million for Ellison’s security. Here’s an idea: Kill two birds with one stone. If he didn’t make that much, he wouldn’t need that much security.
Working out the workout
AT&T’s CEO, Randall L. Stephenson, makes $20 million a year. But part of that is $216,000 that’s used for his club memberships. I’m guessing he’s a member of more than just LA Fitness. Gold’s Gym, too?
On the road again…
Another guy who brings in $20 million a year is Travelers Insurance CEO Jay S. Fishman. About $700,000 of that is earmarked for his car and driver, as well as personal use of company planes – which explains why they call it Travelers.
To see the entire article created by the people who did the real work of combing through the SEC filings to uncover these stupid perks, check out the Daily Finance article here.
And take this list into your boss tomorrow and see if you can match any of these perks. Let me know how you make out.