The paper shuffle at Hess Corp…

One of the challenges of reading annual reports is sifting through the massive dump of exhibits and figuring out what has been filed previously and what hasn—t. And despite what you’re probably thinking, that work isn—t always as glamorous as it sounds.

Occasionally, though, the scrutiny pays off, as it did when we reviewed the 10-K that Hess Corp. (HES) filed recently on the Friday before the big March 1 deadline. Weighing in at a relatively modest 163 pages (compared to other companies’ 10-Ks, that is), we hummed along until we came to Exhibit 10(20), an employment offer letter from the company to Timothy Goodell. Oddly enough, the letter is dated September 19, 2008, but for some reason it wasn—t filed with the SEC until now.

Hess Corp. hired Goodell to be its Senior Vice President, General Counsel. (Prior filings indicate that Goodell’s relationship with the company started years ago, when he worked in a private firm that did legal work for Hess.)

In addition to a base salary of $650,000, the company gave Goodell a signing bonus of $1.5 million (half of which was to be paid within 30 days of his hiring; the other half was to be paid in September, 2009). He also got a guaranteed bonus of $650,000 in 2009, as well as restricted stock and options with an approximate value of $2.25 million.

The only thing we couldn’t find was an explanation of why it took a year and a half for that contract to make its way into Hess’s filings. But perhaps with all that paper, maybe the exhibit got lost in the shuffle?

Image source: Brodeur