The radio executive and the Rabbi…

November 13, 2009

Yesterday, Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) announced that Gary Parsons, the company’s Chairman and one of the co-founders of XM Radio before the two companies merged last summer, had resigned. One oddity is that the press release was a little vague on when Parsons was leaving (or whether he had already left). Of course, it may be considered somewhat surprising that Parsons stuck around as long as he did, since there’s usually only room for one majordomo at most companies.

Perhaps even more interesting was the 8-K that the company filed, which noted that Parsons would receive a “Rabbi trust” — something that used to be pretty common, but which we haven’t seen as frequently in the filings. The structure was apparently dictated by Parsons’ employment agreement with XM, which dates back to 2004.

Under Parsons’ new agreement, Sirius XM is required to establish a Rabbi Trust within 10 days and fund it with $2.6 million. That money, which will be invested in “money markets or other risk-free investments” will be paid next May, according to the agreement.

The new agreement also references Parsons’ 2004 employment agreement with Sirius, which we dug up and after checking the relevant section, also appears to include two years of salary and all of his options vest immediately.

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