Failure never felt so good…

What happens when you’re the top dog and you’re shown the door? We should all be so lucky, according to two filings made late Friday concerning two former top executives who — how can we say this politely — didn’t exactly do great jobs at their respective companies.

Late Friday, First Data (FDC) finally got around to putting out the details of former CEO Charles Fote’s retirement and severance agreement. Fote, as most will remember, left under a cloud of controversy. And while the fact that Fote will continue to receive the same $1.1 million he had made as CEO now that he’s a consultant was known before, what wasn’t clear was how much time he would be required to devote to those consuilting activities: just 20%. Which means he gets the same exact money, but is only required to work a fifth of the time. Not a bad deal, for Fote at least.

And speaking of former executives, there was also this little snippet buried in Morgan Stanley’s (MS) proxy, which was also filed late Friday. Again, while the broad-brush details were known, such as Philip Purcell’s $44 million bonus, the blow-by-blow was included in the proxy (do a search for CEO settlement to find it quickly). Among the pearls are that Purcell’s secretary, which the company has agreed to pay for as long as Purcell lives, will cost the company $1.8 million and that donations to Purcell’s favorite charities (again for life) will cost the company $2.9 million. And there’s another $3.1 million for benefits the company will provide the former executive, again for the rest of his life.  

Indeed, failure never felt so good.