Going Dutch…

August 30, 2007

images10.jpgIn the United States, “going Dutch” usually means that each person eating at a restaurant or paying admission for entertainment pays for himself or herself, rather than one person paying for everyone. But at consumer goods giant Sara Lee Corporation (SLE), the term doesn’t have nearly the same meaning.

In the separation agreement filed as an exhibit to Sara Lee’s recent 10-K, the Company is laying off Netherlands division manager Adriaan Nâô_åhn as part of an announced restructuring. However, the parting may be quite a treat for Nâô_åhn, who is receiving a payout of about $4.75 million (the payment is in euros, of course, so we’re just estimating the foreign currency translation). In addition, Nâô_åhn will receive a lump sum of $450,000 if he chooses cash in lieu of a period of continued Company pension contributions and a bonus of $410,000 if he can pull off certain negotiations with a Dutch labor regulator. I guess it’s just a side perk that Nâô_åhn gets to use the company car through the end of the year and that SLE is paying for the legal expenses associated with the separation agreement. That’s some kind of Dutch treat.

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