A well-placed bet…

April 28, 2005

Back in June 2003, when Nicholas Discombe signed on as president and chief operating officer of Witness Systems (WITS), his contract called for him to receive a hefty retention bonus on the first and second anniversaries of his employment with the suburban Atlanta software company. Lucky for Discombe, the bonus — equal to nearly five times his annual salary — was to be paid in British pounds, instead of the rapidly weakening US Dollar. Under the agreement, Discombe’s 1 million bonus was broken up into two parts: the first 400,000 was paid last March and the second 600,000 was paid this past March, according to the recent proxy. When he signed the agreement in June 2003, the exchange rate was $1.63. In March, it was around $1.90, which means the 600,000 he received this past March was worth over $1.1 million.

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