The $2 million consolation prize..

Last week, Avalon Bay Communities (AVB) appointed Tim Naughton, 43, as its new president. Buried in the 8-K, the company also noted that Samuel Fuller, who was an executive vice president for development and construction, would be leaving the company at the end of April. Fuller, who was 43 as of last year’s proxy, will receive around $2 million from the company in parting gifts — a substantial increase from his 2003 salary of $346K. Was that Fuller’s consolation prize for not getting the president’s job? Hard to say. But what is clear is that both Fuller and Naughton started at the company at around the same time and worked their way up to increasingly responsible jobs. And both graduated from Harvard B School in the late 1980s, where they presumably learned how to negotiate a healthy exit package.