Walking away as winners…

August 17, 2004

For a money-losing company whose stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange last year and is now trading in the pinks, B-to-B publisher Penton Media (PTON.OB) is sure acting like it has money to spare. Last month, it announced that it had reached separation agreements with two of its top executives, CEO Thomas Kemp and COO Daniel Ramella. While the one paragraph release didn’t mention the terms, the two agreements were included in the 10-Q that Penton filed yesterday and it’s easy to see why Penton wasn’t eager to provide any details. Kemp, 53, received $2.3 million in severance plus relaxed terms on a $3.9 million promissory note dating from January 2000, according to the Q. Kemp, who joined Penton in 1996, took it public in 1998 and embarked on a string of pricey acquisitions in the late 1990s, took a job at media buyout firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson on July 9. Ramella also walked away a winner and received a $1.7 million severance payment from Penton. His promissory note — the amount still owed was not disclosed in the Q — was forgiven.

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