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Is this anything?

Last year, ITT Industries’ (ITT) board of directors approved a $1 million retention bonus for CFO Edward Williams when he will presumably step down from the job next January. But the company didn’t bother to include the agreement that was dated February 5, 2004 until the K that it filed on March 11, 2005. Why wait a year? It’s not clear. Perhaps the company was trying to keep its chess-like moves on the finance side under wraps. To be fair, the company did include a brief description of the Williams’ agreement in its 2004 proxy. Still, that description didn’t include all the details including the fact that Williams, who joined the company in 1997 and has only been CFO since mid-2003, may retire as early as this April if the company decides to terminate him “for convenience” — whatever that means. It could be that ITT is looking to provide some stability on the finance side, which has had something of a revovling door in the corporate controller position — typically the No. 2 finance spot. In August, the company named its third person to hold the job since June 2003 when Williams was promoted from controller to CFO. One hint may come from a disclosure in ITT’s preliminary proxy about real estate: the proxy notes that Williams recently sold his house in White Plains and is now living in a company-provided apartment, which makes it a lot easier to exit.