Like the NFL, but different…

September 27, 2004

Lucrative signing bonuses are usually reserved for 21 year-old college kids headed to the NFL. But it’s becoming increasingly common for new CEO’s to get bonuses like that too. Take Drugstore.com (DSCM) , which last week announced that it had lured Dawn Lepore away from Charles Schwab (SCH). Lepore, who will take over as CEO, will receive a $1 million signing bonus from the online pharmacy, provided she moves to Washington State, where the company is based. In a filing last week, Drugstore.com says the bonus is “intended to cover her relocation costs” and to “compensate her for the loss of restricted stock and unvested stock options.” Lepore, a 21 year Schwab veteran who also sits on the boards for Wal-Mart (WMT) and Ebay (EBAY), made $618,000 last year, received a $409,000 bonus and $3 million in restricted stock. She’ll make considerably less at Drugstore.com where her salary will only be $350,000. Sweeting the pot will be 4 million options that Lepore will be able to purchase at around $3 a share — the price Drugstore.com stock was trading at when she agreed to take the job.

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