Walgreens pays a visit to the pre-holiday dump…

January 3, 2012

We were actually surprised that last week didn’t prove to be as much of a dumping ground as we would have expected. Friday, in particular, was unusually slow for a pre-holiday Friday. Still, while there wasn’t an avalanche, there were a few tasty truffles, like this separation agreement with former Chief Marketing Officer Kim Feil that was buried in the 10-Q that Walgreens (WAG) filed on Thursday.

Judging by a quick Google search, Feil was a prominent public face for the drugstore chain. There are a whole bunch of videos where Feil talks about social media, Walgreens mobile strategy and other hot topics. Given how public of a role she played, we were surprised that we couldn’t find any announcement in Walgreens filings that she had left the company on Sept. 30. We imagine it has something to do with this announcement that Walgreen’s made last March about Feil’s new boss. But that’s really only a guess.

The separation agreement itself isn’t all that lavish. Unlike some other recent agreements we’ve footnoted, Feil doesn’t even get to keep her iPad (assuming she even had one). Indeed, the agreement notes that “no later than his/her Termination Date, Employee will have returned all Company property, and no Company property has been retained by the Employee, regardless of the form in which it was acquired or held by Employee.” In other similar agreements, it’s fairly common to keep the cell phone and laptop computer.

What Feil did receive was a pretty small severance: just nine months worth of salary, which worked out to $330K and another $530K worth of stock options and RSUs. A much larger chunk of options, RSUs, and PRSUs remain unvested, which also struck us as a bit unusual when compared with other companies of similar size. Indeed, immediate vesting of options on the way out the door seems like practically a given, although its much more so for the very top executives as opposed to the second tier, like Feil.

Given that the agreement wasn’t so over the top, it really made us wonder why it was such a big secret. Why was there no announcement — at least none that we’ve been able to find — about Feil’s departure last fall? And why wait to bury this sort of thing in a Q?

Image source: BusinessReview USA

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