Off to a great start…

January 2, 2007

uj321-pip.JPGHere at footnoted.org, we’ve seen all sorts of strange requests that top executives have made on their way out the door — from a plane to a Porsche as this post recounted. But this agreement filed by The Sharper Image (SHRP) late Friday with outgoing CEO Richard Thalheimer is clearly up there. That’s because the agreement — filed at 5:06 on Friday — included this:

Sculptures: I would like to purchase two sculptures that decorate my former office or that the Company retails. The Company will sell me the 3CPO sculpture that was in my former office for $7,500 (which is 50% of its retail price of $15,000) and a Superman for $2,500 (which is 50% of its retail price of $5,000), for a total of $10,000, which I already have paid to the Company. I will pay the Company the cost of shipping Superman to me, within 30 days after this Agreement becomes effective. I may take the 3CPO model from the Company’s office (or have it picked up at my own expense), and the Company will ship a Superman to me.

While it’s good to see that Thalheimer is paying something for the sculptures, it’s hard to argue that the company’s performance under his watch was anything approaching super. When he stepped down in late September, the company was in the midst of an options-backdating probe and same store sales were down dramatically. And if you’re curious about what a $5,000 Superman statue looks like, here’s a link.

Of course, the statues aren’t the most valuable part of the agreement. There’s also $1.7 million worth of severance, another $3.9 million in retirement benefits and $300K to cover the cost of office space and secretarial support for the next three years. But Thalheimer’s agreement wasn’t the only one filed late Friday. The company also filed this agreement with former COO Tracy Wan and this agreement with former CFO Jeff Forgan, both of whom stepped down in early November.

The markets may be closed today and these agreements were technically filed last year. But we think this sort of thing shows that we’re off to a great start for 2007! 

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