Three newly minted millionaires…

April 21, 2004

Three former execs at Directv (DTV) really cleaned up after 34% of the company was acquired by News Corp. (NWS) , according to Directv’s recent proxy. When the deal, which was completed on Dec. 22, was first announced about a year ago, Jack Shaw, president and CEO of Hughes Electronics said he would retire once the deal was completed. According to the proxy, he received $16.8 million last year, the bulk of it in severance payments. Roxanne Austin, Directv’s president and CEO, who announced her plans to step down in November, walked away with $13.7 million, again the bulk in severance payments. Sandra Harrison, the senior HR person at Hughes also walked away a winner, receiving $3.6 million in severance payments. The generous payoffs represent substantial multiples over their previous salaries: Shaw made $800,000 in 2002; Austin, $550,004, and Harrison $400,000. Meanwhile, Directv shareholders are still waiting for their pay-off. Though the stock has rebounded nicely over the past year, it lost over 30% in both 2001 and 2002.

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