Thursday, March 31, 2005

HP chief gets $26m welcome

The Hewlett-Packard plot thickens, as reported in: HP chief gets $26m welcome - Business -

Mark Hurd, who takes over today as chief executive of troubled computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard, will receive cash, stock and perks worth at least $US20 million ($25.8 million) for simply walking in the door at HP's Palo Alto, California headquarters.

Mr Hurd is widely viewed as the antithesis of the celebrity chief executive, a nuts-and-bolts manager with little interest in grabbing headlines for himself.

But judging by his new employment agreement, HP's board appears to view Mr Hurd as a superstar at least on par with the firm's formerly high-flying chief executive, Carly Fiorina. The board forced Ms Fiorina out in February for not fixing the company as quickly as it wanted.

Paul Hodgson, senior analyst at the Corporate Library, a research organisation, called Mr Hurd's deal a prime example of the kind of 'golden hello' package now commonly handed out by large public companies.

'This is exactly the same kind of contract they made for Carly when she started, and we saw what the result of that was,' Mr Hodgson said. 'Hurd is getting so much upfront that is absolutely unrelated to his performance.'

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