A healthy arrangement…

flakes.jpegEarlier this week, Kellogg (K) announced that Jim Jenness, a 30 year veteran of the company and its CEO since 2004, would be stepping down as the CEO at the end of the year, but would remain as the company’s Chairman. David Mackay, another longtime Kellogg executive, will become CEO on Jan. 1.

Though it’s clear — or at least should be — that serving as Chairman is not as strenuous a job as serving as Chairman and CEO, there’s plenty of examples (see here among others) of executives getting paid the same amount of money (or in some cases actually getting a raise) even though they’re clearly not doing the same amount of work. But not Jenness. As the filing notes, Jenness’ “preference is not to receive the compensation commensurate with the role”. Indeed, as the filing notes, Jenness will not collect any salary or bonus as chairman. There’s no fat consulting contract either. Or luxe office space. Or the keys to the corporate jet. Or any of the other bells and whistles that are normally handed out during this sort of transition. When he retires, he will be eligible for a pension of $155K a year for the rest of his life, a mere fraction of what other top executives at other large companies typically receive.

At a time when even President Bush is apparently astounded by executive pay, Jenness is setting a good example and deserves a rare gold star.