On Cathie Black’s retirement from IBM..

March 11, 2011

Cathie Black, the former chairman of Hearst Magazines, isn’t known for being sensitive.

After New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg got some flak for appointing her as New York City’s next school chancellor, she made even more enemies by (jokingly) telling concerned parents gathered at a meeting that the best way to solve overcrowding problems at NYC schools was birth control.

But it looks like Black may have had the last laugh. In December, right after she signed on as chancellor, she retired from the board of directors at IBM (IBM) with one of the largest director compensation packages that we’ve ever seen: a whopping $3.3 million.

According to the computer company’s March 7 proxy, that includes $260K in earned fees, and $3.1 million of earned compensation and dividend reinvestments.That’s more than ten times the $300,723 she received last year, according to IBM’s 2010 proxy. Last year’s compensation included $40,623 of dividend equivalent payoffs on her Promised Fee Shares on top of her $260,000 earned fees.

As we’ve said many times before, that’s not too bad for a part-time job.

And she’s not the only director to retire from the board with a hefty sum of cash this year.

Taizo Nishimuro retired from the board in July, and received earned fees of $144K, plus $394K of earned compensation and dividend reinvestments from his Deferred Compensation and Equity Award Plan. Adding in a few more dollars of —other compensation, this brings his total for 2010 up to $537,354. When compared to the $253,713 he earned last year, that’s a pretty solid jump.

Yet that’s still only about a sixth of what Black raked in.

This post was written by footnoted intern Emily Laermer, who is a senior at Northwestern University.


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