The Dallas/Maine express

Changing planes is such a drag — sitting in an airport surrounded by noisy tourists on their way to Dubuque and ordinary business travelers pounding away into their BlackBerrys. But when you’re traveling between many cities, particularly a smaller city, like say Portland, ME it’s the only way to get from Point A to Point B. Unless you get your employer to provide a private plane as I2 Technology’s (ITWH.PK) new CEO has. When Michael McGrath, a director since last August, was hired to head the Dallas-based company in February 2005, he insisted on keeping his primary residence in Maine, according to the proxy the company filed yesterday. The proxy notes that the company will pay for weekly private jet service between Dallas and Maine. And because of the way it’s structured, it’s almost certainly a tax-deductible business expense. That’s in addition to the $600K in annual salary, $5,000 a month the company plans to spend on providing an apartment in Dallas to McGrath and the $1,200 a month for a rental car. McGrath’s employment agreement lasts through next December. I know some will argue that it’s hard to find good CEOs these days. But given the company’s stock performance over the past few years, it’s hard to argue in favor of such a lavish perk.