Free

Gobble, gobble…

Enticing top legal talent to move from Atlanta to northwestern Arkansas, where Tyson Foods (TSN) is based clearly takes a good dose of artificial sweetener. When Tyson announced back in August that it had hired former BellSouth (BLS) general counsel, J. Alberto Gonzalez-Pita, it didn’t provide any details on how it managed to reel him in. But in the company’s recent 8-K, it’s pretty clear: lots of money.

It’s not so much the salary of $475K that sticks out. It’s the extras, such as the $600K signing bonus and the $375K “performance award” in Class A stock that Gonzalez-Pita already received as well as additional promises of $375K worth of stock in 2006 and 2007. Granted, Tyson clearly needs good legal help, given the SEC’s ongoing formal investigation. Ironically, that investigation focuses on Tyson’s failure to disclose various perks to some of its executives in previous SEC filings.

P.S.: I’ll be taking a few days off from blogging for Thanksgiving. I’ll be back on Wednesday, Dec. 1.