Jon Huntsman’s consolation prize…

August 8, 2012

Back in January, former Utah governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. suspended his Presidential campaign and endorsed Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Now, it probably goes without saying that once you’ve made the decision to run for President, any other job would be a bit of a let down. Still, Huntsman has managed to stay pretty busy.

Well known for his fluency in Mandarin (see this story from Slate, which disputes that) and his former stint as Ambassador to China, Huntsman was first tapped in February to join the board of directors of Ford (F) and, then in April, Caterpillar (CAT), two companies looking to increase sales to China. Both of those received some media attention (see here and here, for example). UPDATE: As one of the comments below notes, he was also appointed to Huntsman’s board on Feb. 1, which pays its directors $120K a year.

But Huntsman’s latest gig has gotten much less attention. That’s because it was buried as an exhibit in the 10-Q filed last week by Huntsman Corp. (HUN), whose Chairman, Jon Sr., happens to be Huntsman’s father and whose CEO is Huntsman’s brother, Peter. As this exhibit outlines, Huntsman, Jr. will be paid $27,500 a month plus expenses to “provide strategic advice on political, economic and business matters, particularly in connection with markets and opportunities in Asia” through December 2013.

On an annualized basis, that works out to $330K a year. Throw in the Ford and Caterpillar gigs — Ford pays its directors $200K a year in cash and Caterpillar pays its directors $150K a year in cash, plus the other $120K from Huntsman — and Huntsman will make twice as much 70% more than as he would had his campaign for president been successful. The salary for the President, last changed in 1999, is $400K a year.

Now, being a director of two companies, even two prominent companies, and a consultant at a third, may not be quite as glamorous as being President. After all, there’s no Air Force One or Presidential Motorcades. But three part-time jobs that pay considerably more and are undoubtedly significantly less stressful isn’t such a bad consolation prize.

Image source: Jon Huntsman Jr. Facebook page

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