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Easing into retirement at 45?

Something about Gaylord Entertainment’s (GET) announcement a short time ago doesn’t quite add up. And, of course, the fact that they also reported a wider than expected fourth quarter loss only adds to the murkiness.

In a nutshell, the company’s 45 year-old chief operating officer is being relieved of his duties, though he’ll remain at the company for the next year as an “industry relations advisor”, whatever that means. Jay Sevigny will continue to collect his same salary of $385K, even though his new job will presumably carry a lot less responsibility. He’ll also collect a $250K retention bonus, continue to receive an $800 monthly car allowance and get accelerated vesting on more than 20,000 options.

That’s a much better deal than Sevigny’s 47 year-old replacement will get. Although John Caparella, who was promoted last week, will get a significant raise over the $230K he was making as general manager of the Gaylord Palms Resort, his $350K salary is less than the one Gaylord is shelling out for Sevigny’s advisory role.