Return of the Six Million Dollar Man…

May 9, 2005

Unlike a lot of other classic TV shows and movies from the 1970s, there’s yet to be a remake of The Six Million Dollar Man. But if some Hollywood maven does decide it deserves a remake, they might want to think about tapping former Cendant (CD) executive Kevin Sheehan for the role. In the Q Cendant filed last week, it included Sheehan’s $6.8 million severance agreement, which is a hefty multiple of his 2004 salary of $762.5K. What makes the number even more surprising is the part of the agreement where the company says it will describe Sheehan’s past performance “as (having) consistently met the expectations of the company and always acted with professionalism”, which doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, at least to my ears, particularly since Sheehan spent 20 years at the company. The agreement also calls for the full vesting of around 200,000 options.

Back in March, the company announced that Sheehan, 51, Cendant’s former CFO who up until Friday had been serving as chairman and chief executive of the vehicle services division, would be leaving as part of a reorganization that also impacted Cendant executive Scott Forbes, who ran the company’s European, Middle East and African operations. But the release, which noted that Sheehan would now have an opportunity to pursue “his ultimate goal of leading a large public company on his own” never mentioned anything about the severance arrangements. In fairness, Cendant did file an 8-K on March 14 that first disclosed the payouts for Sheehan and Forbes, who collected $4.7 million. But Forbes’ actual agreement is still missing from Cendant’s filings.

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