Sands’ exec hits the jackpot with new agreement…

While many people harbor hope for a tiny raise – perhaps their first in years – that’s not a concern for one lucky executive at Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS).

Michael A. Leven, the Sands’ president and Chief Operating Officer, just inked a deal that showers him with cash and a very handy perk. Although the company has not yet filed the new employment agreement with the SEC, it disclosed the terms in an 8-K that it filed yesterday.

For starters, the agreement – which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2011 and runs through Nov. 12, 2012 – will pay Leven a base salary of $3 million per year. That’s a hefty million-dollar raise over the $2 million annual base salary that his old employment agreement provided. Leven’s target bonus also increased from 50% of his base salary to 100% of the new salary.

Of course, the press release that accompanied the 8-K quoted Chairman Sheldon Adelson as saying that “Under Mike Leven’s leadership our company has not only achieved record results, but we have clearly positioned ourselves to be the leading force in our industry for years to come….”

When New Year’s Day rolls around, Leven can also celebrate the Sands’ decision to give him 350,000 shares of restricted stock. So long as Leven stays with the Sands (or an exception applies, such as being terminated without cause), those shares will vest on Nov. 12, 2012.

And Leven is also getting another fun perk that runs counter to the current trend in executive compensation practices. The filing states that

“…during the term of the agreement, the Company shall (a) make available to Mr. Leven a jet aircraft in connection with both business and personal use, including personal use by Mr. Leven’s spouse…”

Moreover, Leven can join any country club he wants; and the shareholders, not he, will pay the initiation fee.

After reading about a generous new employment agreement at the Sands while others are just trying to hang on to their jobs actually gave us a sense of dâŸj⯠vu, we checked the archives and found this post. Written last summer, Michelle reported the details about another sweet deal with a different executive. And this post, from April, 2010, documented the company lavishing executives with perks that ranged from security guards to staff who would tackle the execs’ home repair projects.

There’s so much about Las Vegas that seems illusory. But the terms of this deal are quite real, and they will remain in effect for the next couple of years.

Image source: Nevada Tumbleweed via flickr


See more of what’s in the filings: Check out FootnotedPro, where we highlight unusual opportunities and potential problems well in advance of the market. For more information or to inquire about a trial subscription, email us at