Power to the CEO!

Energy equipment manufacturer Global Power Equipment’s (GEG) Chairman and CEO, Larry Edwards, has decided to step down as CEO at the end of June, but will continue to serve as chairman. In a Q filed last week, the Tulsa-based company has found lots of creative ways to make sure Edwards, 55, doesn’t wind up eating ramen noodles. First, there’s the $1.9 million payment (the company doesn’t say what it’s for), then a $800K incentive for entering into a consulting contract that will pay him another $900K. Given his annual salary of $475K, it’s an impressive list of parting gifts. Then there’s the 350,000 stock options at prices ranging from $4.87 a share to $14.47 a share whose vesting will be extended and which the Q notes could cause the company to “incur significant compensation expense” as a result of those options. Since the stock is only trading at around $7.50 a share, nearly half of those options are currently underwater.

Needless to say, investors who bought into Global Power’s IPO back in May 2001, haven’t done quite as well. As this chart shows, the stock took less than a month to fall from the $35 a share it closed at on the first day of trading and is still waiting to recover.