A bonus for doing his job?

September 17, 2004

Back in July, Peregrine Systems (PRGN.PK) touted its ability to attract top management in a release that hailed the company’s road to recovery. But what the company left out in the news release announcing the appointment of a new CFO is that it’s paying mightily for that talent. Ken Saunders joined Peregrine in August after serving in a similar role at Fair Isaac (FIC) . While his salary at Peregrine is roughly the same as it was at Fair Isaac (despite the fact that Fair Isaac’s market cap is more than 5 times larger than Peregrine’s), it’s the bonuses, which are listed under several different names, that really sweeten the pot. In Saunders’ employment contract in the recent Q, he received a $50,000 signing bonus and $150,000 for hiring a Chief Accounting Officer, whose contract was also included in the Q. Then there’s an additional $100,000 “recruiting bonus” up for grabs if he fills two additional accounting-related jobs by the end of October. Finally, there’s another $150,000 bonus if he manages to get Peregrine’s Q for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2004, to the SEC on time. Granted, Peregrine has had problems making it to the SEC on time in the past — the Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2003, which contained Saunders contract, was just filed on Sept. 9. But it still seems a bit disingenuous to offer a hefty reward for something that’s normally part of any CFO’s job.

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