Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

HP CEO Whitman Just Got a Big Pay Raise

meg_whitman_380x285Remember how when she first took over as CEO of the computing giant Hewlett-Packard, Meg Whitman agreed to take a base salary of only $1 a year?

That changed on Nov. 1, when the company’s board of directors voted to increase her base pay to $1.5 million per year, a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says.

Here’s the text of the filing in full:

“On December 11, 2013, the independent members of the Board of Directors of Hewlett-Packard Company (“HP”) approved an increase in the base salary of Margaret C. Whitman, HP’s President and Chief Executive Officer, from $1 per year to $1,500,000 per year to bring Ms. Whitman’s salary to a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP’s peer companies. This salary increase is effective as of November 1, 2013.”

The dollar-a-year figure was mostly meaningless in the first place as Whitman has also been compensated in large part with company shares. Last year she took home more than $15.3 million. Most of that was in the value of share grants and options worth about $13 million. Then there was a performance-based bonus worth $1.7 million.

With HP’s shares up by more than 90 percent since the end of last year, Whitman is likely to do well in 2013, as well. We’ll know more about that when the proxy filing hits — which should be early in 2014.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work