Golden Parachutes

A new study out today shows how top CEOs are walking away from their jobs with literally hundreds of millions of dollars—even after they do a crummy job. That’s wild. Gary Rivlin writes about the news today:

“You’re fired” can be the sweetest words these days when you’re the CEO of a publicly traded company. Sure, Leo Apotheker must have felt lousy when Hewlett-Packard dumped him as chief executive last September after less than a year on the job. But the sting of humiliation was no doubt softened by a $12 million cash payment the company gave him despite the lousy job he had done.

But now a new study released Wednesday shows that $12 million ain’t nothing in the age of the imperial CEO. GMI, a well-regarded research firm that monitors executive pay, looked at the largest severance packages ex-CEOs have received since the start of 2000.

To earn a spot in the top 20, a CEO would need to have received a golden parachute in excess of $100 million.

Read it on the Beast.