News

Heck of a Job, Karmi

Published on July 2, 2009
by John Paczkowski

mel-karmazin-2Bad news for Sirius XM shareholders hoping for a change in management: Mel Karmazin’s five-year contract as CEO of the satellite radio provider has been extended through December 2012. And he’s been given a raise and new stock options to boot.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sirius XM said it will raise Karmazin’s base salary to $1.5 million from $1.25 million beginning on Jan. 1, 2010, and grant him an option to purchase 120 million shares at an exercise price of 43 cents a share. His reward for steering the company clear of bankruptcy after driving it right up to its very edge, I suppose.

Sirius (SIRI) investors who’ve seen their stock plunge to 46 cents from $2 a share can be forgiven for questioning the wisdom of such a move and wondering if perhaps there wasn’t a better use for a quarter of a million dollars at a time when the company is buried in debt. But there’s nothing much to be done about it now. Suffice it to say, the odds of Karmazin being forced out at this point are likely pretty slim.

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