The mysterious consultant…

April 18, 2006

One would think, well, at least hope, that in order to get a $400K a year consulting gig with a Dow 30 company, you’d at least need a website or have some sort of searchable record via Google. But apparently that sort of thing doesn’t matter to the folks at Caterpillar (CAT), which disclosed in its proxy yesterday that the wife of the company’s vp for technology and solutions, Mark Pflederer, has a firm called Out of the Ordinary that provided $404,225 of consulting services to Caterpillar last year. The proxy doesn’t doesn’t spell out what sort of consulting services the firm provided, or how long the company has been providing these services, though it does note that the company plans to continue using Out of the Ordinary this year.

To be fair, Pflederer is not an executive officer, so Caterpillar is voluntarily disclosing the deal. Still, if they’re taking the time to disclose it, they should provide a few more details. And perhaps Danielle Pflederer may want to consider investing in a basic website — you can build one for well under $100 these days — so that she can attract other Dow 30 companies to her business. It might also stem the confusion of people like me, who when they look into this sort of thing, begin to wonder why Peoria-based Caterpillar might be spending $400K on a Rochester, NY-based wedding planner.

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