Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — David Sokol, the executive who left Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. amid accusations of violating insider-trading rules last year, is receiving $1 million annually from the company in retirement payments.
Sokol, who stepped down from Berkshire’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. in April, collected $750,000 last year tied to the supplemental executive retirement plan, or SERP, MidAmerican said yesterday in its annual statement. Sokol was the unit’s chairman.
Sokol, 55, broke company regulations by trading in the stock of one of Buffett’s takeover targets, Omaha, Nebraska- based Berkshire said in April. Sokol bought shares of Lubrizol Corp. in January 2011, less than three months before Berkshire announced a $9 billion agreement to acquire the company. Sokol has denied wrongdoing.
‘In accordance with the terms of his employment agreement, no cash severance, incentive payment or continuation of benefits was owed to him,” MidAmerican said in the statement. “His post-termination SERP benefit is $1 million annually, paid in monthly installments.”
Ann Thelen, a spokeswoman for MidAmerican, didn’t return calls seeking comment. Buffett didn’t respond to a request for comment e-mailed to his assistant. Barry William Levine, an attorney for Sokol at Dickstein Shapiro LLP in Washington, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive officer, apologized in April for a “big mistake” in his oversight of Sokol. MidAmerican’s CEO until 2008, Sokol cashed out his executive life insurance policy and was paid $97,686, MidAmerican said.
Sokol was paid $231,250 in salary and $301,687 when he elected to take “a one-time lump sum payment of his MidAmerican Energy Company Retirement Plan,” MidAmerican said.
Gregory Abel, the MidAmerican CEO who added the title of chairman as Sokol departed, received total compensation of $9.9 million last year, including a $7 million bonus, the unit said.
–Editors: Dan Reichl, Dan Kraut
To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at [email protected]