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Maybe E*Trade Should Stop Giving Four-Year Contracts To Its CEOs

from the just-saying dept

Cross-posted from

Like the four who held the job before him since its, er, difficulties began five-and-a-half years ago, Steve Freiberg did not do a particularly good job running E*Trade. But he’s been compensated handsomely for facing the wrath of an angry Ken Griffin before getting a pink slip in August.

E*Trade Financial Corp. said it paid its former Chief Executive Steven Freiberg $10.7 million in 2012, including a severance payment, according to a regulatory filing early Friday.

In its proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the online brokerage said Mr. Freiberg received $3 million in stock awards, $630,769 in salary and a $7 million lump sum cash severance payment.

E*Trade also said Mr. Freiberg collected a prorated bonus of $1.6 million paid in February and outstanding equity awards, which were valued at $3.3 million under an accelerated vesting schedule.

ETrade also handed over $2.5 million to its chairman, Frank Petrilli, including $2.2 million for doing Freiberg’s old job during the waning days of 2012. And ETrade wasn’t the only good place to be a former or soon-to-be-former CEO last year.

Marsh & McLennan Cos. gave outgoing chief executive Brian Duperreault a $17 million pay package last year, a 17% increase from 2011, according to the company’s annual proxy released Friday.

Mr. Duperreault’s compensation included a $1 million salary, stock and option awards of $10 million, and a $5 million bonus. It also included the personal use of the company’s corporate jet, valued at $441,875.

Mr. Duperreault, a longtime insurance executive who ran Marsh & McLennan for five years, stepped down at the end of 2012. The proxy said his pay increase was based in part on the company’s financial performance for the year, his work in positioning the company for future growth, and the “successful transition of CEO responsibilities” to Mr. Glaser.

Good Friday compensation disclosures were less kind to the poor schmucks who still have to run their companies. Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger hasn’t gotten a raise in four years, and the IntercontinentalExchange gave CEO Jeffrey Sprecher a 15% pay cut for the year in which he bought the fucking New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. Sprecher, who has led ICE since its formation in 2000, in 2011 was the second-highest-paid exchange CEO after Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE. Under terms of NYSE’s deal with ICE, Mr. Niederauer will become president of the combined company, while Mr. Sprecher will remain chairman and CEO.

Former E*Trade CEO Paid $10.7 Million in 2012 [WSJ]
Marsh & McLennan’s Outgoing CEO Got $17 Million [WSJ]
Schwab CEO Pay Stays Around $10.2 Million [WSJ]
InterncontinentalExchange Chief’s Pay Down 15% [WSJ]

Other posts from Dealbreaker:

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Companies: etrade

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Comments on “Maybe E*Trade Should Stop Giving Four-Year Contracts To Its CEOs”

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Anonymous Coward says:

According to the prevailing bullshit emanating from and on behalf of the one percent, these tools of industry are paid handsomely due to their uber CEO skillz. Strange how there is little explanation of why failure at the top is not met with reduction in compensation – you know, like that foisted upon the lower classes, commonly referred to as the ninety nine percent. It seems perfectly acceptable for these captains of industry to flog the wage slaves into submission whilst being over compensated for their vast ineptitude and corrupt practices.

Anonymous Coward says:

Failed CEO value = 10.7 Million Dollars.

Successful Engineer value = $250,000 a year maximum, and only if you’re REALLY lucky and/or buy some stock in the company you work for.

Gee, I wonder why the economy is so screwed up these days, couldn’t be people getting rich for being failures and people remaining ‘poor’ (when compared to the salary of failures) for being a success.

Anonymous Coward says:

this is capitalism’s failure. Concentrate the wealth at the top. No one person in an organization is really worth paying 350 times more than the average-earning employee, ie. everyone is replaceable. This is what the big guys want us to believe, in order to concentrate the wealth and power and keep it in the hands of few.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

WRONG. This is capitalism’s best feature. Companies who overpay their CEO’s will go out of business. That is not anyone’s business, not even yours.

When the government gets involved and heavily regulates industries (like banking), it suddenly feels responsible and bails them out. GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM. The free market will sort out idiots like these companies.

If you don’t like Steve Ballmer or Mark Zuckerberg making millions, don’t use Microsoft or Facebook. But don’t come crying after the fact that they are rich. No one forced you to give them money or use their services.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Companies who overpay their CEO’s will go out of business. That is not anyone’s business, not even yours.”

If they overpay them enough, yes, they’ll go out of business. But maybe instead, they just pay them enough so the company shows only half the profit it otherwise would have. And since I have investments in a mutual fund, it actually IS my business, directly. And even if I did not, the way the economy functions is everyone’s business. So don’t go telling everyone that they aren’t even supposed to discuss the matter.

I get the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong in the way CEO compensation is determined. Something here is causing the market to not function properly. Are the board members all CEO’s of their own companies, with an interest in making CEO pay rise? Are they personal friends of the CEO? Are they wholly unqualified to decide on the CEO compensation package? Are their compensation packages tied to his somehow?

He got “$630,769 in salary and a $7 million lump sum cash severance payment.” Nobody should get a severance payment which is over ten times their salary. It makes no sense. Why would you create this huge incentive for the CEO to try to make you get rid of him? And why would the severance payment EVER be more than the entire contracted salary?

“If you don’t like Steve Ballmer or Mark Zuckerberg making millions, don’t use Microsoft or Facebook. But don’t come crying after the fact that they are rich. No one forced you to give them money or use their services.”

Perhaps I can avoid those two specific companies, but it would be rather difficult to avoid all companies that overpay their CEO’s. Also, those people you mention did not, to my knowledge, receive millions to go away and NOT run the company.

Chris Brand says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, lots of board members are CEOs elsewhere (or used to be). And boards tend to use the “let’s look at what other CEOs are being paid” metric to determine what they should pay their CEO (makes it look less arbitrary). So it’s this nice little positive-feedback loop where they all ramp up each other’s compensation over time, and are able to justify it to the stockholders as “well, we’re just doing what everyone else is”.

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