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Last year, with a veritable gusher of oil profits flooding into the coffers of Exxon Mobil, CEO Lee Raymond moaned that he really didn’t know what to do with so much money. But now we learn that he quickly figured out what to do with a big pool of it: He gave it to himself!
Lee retired at the end of last year, and he cashed out bigger than any bank robber in history. He walked away with a package of cash and stock payments worth about $42 million. Then, he took a lump-sum pension benefit worth another $98 million (not bad for a guy who pushed to reduce pension benefits for Exxon Mobil’s blue collar workers).
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But wait – that’s barely the half of it. Brother Raymond also sacked up stock and other compensation worth an extra $258 million. This brings his total payout to nearly $400 million!
Let’s see… he was CEO for 12 years, so that works out to a farewell package of some $33 million for each of his years. Sure, Exxon Mobil has done well – especially in that last couple of years – but this is due to an astronomical runup in oil and gasoline prices, having nothing to do with any managerial genius on the part of Lee.
But he is a genius in negotiating sweet deals for himself. In addition to salting away a goldmine for his golden years, Raymond also got Exxon to pick up his country club fees while in retirement. Plus, he’ll get to use the corporate jet, get money to pay for tax advisors, and be paid an extra million bucks to serve as a “consultant” to Exxon Mobil this year. He’ll also get a free security system for his home, be assigned security guards, and be given a limousine and driver.
This is Jim Hightower saying… All of this will be deducted from Exxon Mobil’s corporate income tax as a “business expense,” meaning you and I get to subsidize Lee’s retirement. Come on, Lee – couldn’t you at least cover your own country club fees?
“Exxon Chairman Got Retirement Package Worth at Least $398 Million,” The New York Times, April 13, 2006.