21 U.S. CEOs received “golden parachutes” worth more than $100 million each between 2000 and 2011, according to a new report by GovernanceMetrics International.
The farewell packages are generally meant to soften the landing when chief executives are terminated without cause, for example as a result of a merger or acquisition. But the recipient of the biggest golden parachute payout ever, Jack Welsh, picked up his $417 million upon his retirement in 2001 after 20 years at the helm of General Electric.
Rounding out the top five: Exxon’s Lee Raymond ($321 million), UnitedHealth Group’s William McGuire ($286 million), AT&T’s Ed Whitacre ($230 million) and Home Depot’s Bob Nardelli ($223 million).
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