Waste management, indeed…

February 25, 2004

Given Waste Management’s (WMI) past excesses, an investor might hope that the new group of executives in charge have learned from those mistakes and are now a bit more chaste with investors’ money. But buried near the bottom of Waste Management’s recent 10-K are two employment contracts that remind us of the way things were. It’s not the salary, so much, as the long string of perks that are being offered to WMI’s new general counsel and their new senior vp for people. In the case of the new counsel, it’s a bonus of up to 150% of an annual base salary of $400,000 in 2003, even though he didn’t start working at the company until Nov. 10 of last year. Both men also receive generous stock options — 100,000 shares for the general counsel, 50,000 for the people person — as well as 4 weeks of vacation, a $12,000 car allowance, $15,000 in personal financial planning services, and membership in a social organization (read: golf club) with monthly dues of up to $500 a month and a one-time initiation fee not to exceed 10% of the base salary, or $40,000 in the general counsel’s case and $32,000 for the svp-people.

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