No teary goodbyes for Mike…

May 27, 2004

It’s hard to get really lathered up about C. Michael Armstrong decision to step down as Chairman of Comcast (CMSCA). Nor was it much of a surprise, given the terms of his employment contract, which required Comcast to pay him $1.8 million a year plus a 150% bonus whether he worked or not, provided he stepped down by yesterday’s annual meeting. Given the option of working and doing whatever a non-executive chairman does (a job that enabled Armstrong to ring up over $300,000 in personal use of Comcast’s corporate jet last year) and collecting $4.5 million or not working and collecting $4.5 million, why would anyone choose to work? On top of the salary, Comcast also entered into a consulting contract with Armstrong that will pay him $900,000 for the next two years and he’ll still have the keys to the corporate jet. And then there’s the millions worth of Comcast stock, which the contract said Armstrong would receive once he became a consultant. Yesterday’s WSJ has a great story (no link…subscription required) on Armstrong trying to redeem himself in business circles. Hopefully, the money will help ease his pain.

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