Living the life…
Earlier this year, I noted in this piece for Slate that being a vice chairman was probably the greatest job in business. Why? Because it’s a title that frequently goes to some top executive on their way out the door and carries little real responsibility other than playing lots of golf.
But looking at Herbalife’s (HLF) recent proxy, it seems as if I need to add another “responsibility” to the list: using the corporate jet as your personal taxi. According to the proxy, Vice Chairman Henry Burdick spent $300K on personal use of the corporate jet last year. Since the company went public in December 2004, there’s no point of comparison. Still, for a company of this size, that’s a chunk of change. It’s also interesting to note that Burdick appears to be the only top executive to use the corporate jet for personal reasons.
That’s not to say that the other top executives are struggling. CEO Michael Johnson got a $2.4 million bonus — roughly 3 times his base salary — and 18% of all options granted to employees last year, with some going for as little as 88 cents a share. And President and COO Gregory Probert receive around 20% of all options granted to employees last year. Of course, investors don’t have all that much to complain about: the stock has done well over the past year.