Millions For Dead CEOs: The Newest Exec Comp Outrage

Missed the latest howler about American executive compensation? It’s worth a quick scan. Many American CEOs apparently don’t make enough on the job. So many are guaranteed to get hundreds of millions more after they die.

My Yahoo TechTicker colleague Aaron Task explains below. Click the video to watch us rant:

If you think “golden parachutes” for CEOs are scandalous, then brace yourself for the latest outrage: “golden coffins.”

Yes, that’s right. It’s not enough that American CEOs get paid gigantic sums, many are also due to collect huge severance packages after they die, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Among the more outrageous posthumous packages:

  • $298.1 million for Comcast CEO Brian Roberts
  • $288 million for Nabors CEO Eugene Isenberg
  • $115.6 million for Occidental CEO Ray Irani
  • $17 million for Shaw Group CEO J.M. Bernhard to not compete with the firm after he dies

The practice is time-honored but was largely hidden until a recent change to disclosure requirements. Defenders say the packages are merely “deferred compensation” or geared to aid estate-planning and tax efficiency.

Even after the scandals of Enron and WorldCom, it’s pretty clear that many CEOs — and their boards — have no shame when it comes to compensation.

Barring an act of Congress, the only way these practices will change is if shareholders demand it and/or stories such as the Journal’s embarrass companies into reviewing these practices.


NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at

Tagged In