CEO Gets A $150 Million Golden Parachute For Cleaning Up After A Massive Corporate Scandal

Dennis Kozlowski

The Tyco International scandal was one of the worst in recent memory. CEO Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark Swartz were found guilty in 2005 of stealing more than $150 million from the company. Lurid details about $6,000 shower curtains and $2 million parties in Sardinia emerged during the trial.

Dennis Breen, the CEO who replaced Kozlowski, succeeded by mostly staying out of the news while dealing with the aftermath of the scandal. He had to clean up a massive accounting mess, restating results all the way back to 1998, and split the company up into several different parts, which included the successful spinoff of ADT Security Services.

Breen told The Wall Street Journal that the company was like a “forest fire” when he got there, and that he had to get rid of the whole board and almost 300 people on the corporate team. 

For his trouble, he’s getting a truly massive payday. USA Today dug through Tyco’s proxy statements and finds that Breen’s compensation, retirement benefits, stock, and other forms of compensation top out at over $150 million dollars. He’ll remain on board as chairman. 

That package includes $55.8 million worth of deferred shares which he’ll get in March, and a $30 million lump-sum payout in 2016. 

Even in an age of beefy exit packages, this is notably large. Sometimes you don’t get paid for standing out, but for successfully making people forget.

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