The Wall Street Journal has reported that Eugene Isenberg is retiring as CEO of Nabors Industries (oil and gas) and is taking with him $100 million in retirement pay. One hundred million dollars! The report noted that the company was contracturally obligated to pay him the $100 million even if he was fired. What kind of dumb-ass Board of Directors would agree to that? Oh, and for the record, his company's stock is down 20% for the year, a performance well below the industry average.
Earlier this year 57% of Nabors' stockholders who voted opposed the compensation package being offered to their executives. But of course it was non-binding, so the Board of Directors gave 'em the money anyway. And if you're curious....I looked it up....Nabors' directors (in 2009) each received $213,440 in compensation and stock. (Directors usually work only a few hours a month.) Sounds like a pretty sweet "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" deal, huh?
I'm all for our best and brightest people making lots of money for doing exceptional work, but where is the line between "lots of money" and "rip off"? To me, $100,000,000 for turning out the lights and closing the door is too much. This is a rip off! If I was a Nabors' stockholder I'd be out the door, too.