Sit, stay a while. No really, please stay…

Sometimes companies can get themselves in so much trouble they’ll pay executives anything to stick around and clean up the mess.  Take Mercury Interactive (MERQ.PK) for example.  Mercury, you’ll remember, revealed back in November that some of its top executives had been involved in shady options backdating practices.  This discovery led to a special investigation — and the announcement that the Company needed to restate its full-year 2004 results and the 2005 quarters.   In an 8-K filed yesterday, Mercury disclosed that it was awarding CFO David Murphy, who has only been in the position since the backdating revelations, or a total of eight months, a $1,500,000 retention bonus.  Granted, the bonus is payable in installments — $500,000 if Murphy remains on the job through January 2007 and $1,000,000 if he stays through January 2008.  Nonetheless, just goes to show how much a company will pay for a clean-up job.

P.S.  Thanks to Sandy Tilney at Norcross Enterprises for the heads-up!