At both ends of the spectrum…

For some top executives, it seems that retirement can be very lucrative no matter what size the Company is.  At the large end of the spectrum, we have DuPont (DD), which announced last week that Senior VP and CFO Greg Pfeiffer had stepped down as part of a planned retirement.  DuPont, which has a market cap north of $38 billion, waited until yesterday to disclose that it would be paying Pfeiffer $2,000,000, in addition to the payments and benefits to which he is otherwise entitled as a retiree, in return for remaining an employee through December 31, 2006 "to assure a smooth transition of the Chief Financial Officer role." 

Meanwhile, tiny National Mercantile Bancorp (MBLA), which has a market cap of just $74 million, announced last week that in connection with its upcoming merger with FCB Bancorp, National Mercantile’s CEO Scott Montgomery would retire.  (At least the combined company isn’t trying to keep two CEOs on the payroll!)  Just like DuPont, National Mercantile waited until yesterday to disclose that Montgomery will receive severance pay of $1,325,838, medical and other insurance coverage for two years, and title to his company car. 

At least $2 million isn’t material to DuPont’s financials (although it certainly would be to my bank account).  The $1.326 million National Mercantile is paying out exceeds the Company’s net income for the first quarter of 2006.