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6 execs of failed WaMu to depart

CEO won't receive a big severance package after the thrift's takeover by JPMorgan.

October 03, 2008|From the Associated Press

The chief executive of failed Washington Mutual Inc. and five other senior executives of the largest U.S. thrift, now owned by JPMorgan Chase & Co., are leaving their positions soon.

In addition, employees were told they would be informed by Dec. 1 whether their jobs would continue -- which will be the case for most of the 43,000 employees -- or whether they would be moved to other jobs or see their positions eliminated, JPMorgan spokesman Tom Kelly said.

JPMorgan's head of retail financial services, Charlie Scharf, told the employees in a memo Thursday that WaMu Chief Executive Alan H. Fishman and the other executives were departing, saying the firms' combination made their positions redundant.

Fishman held the job for only a few weeks before Washington Mutual was seized by the government Sept. 25 and sold to the big bank for $1.9 billion. He is not taking any of the multimillion-dollar severance pay under his employment contract with the Seattle company, a spokesman for Fishman said.

It is doubtful that Fishman would have been entitled to severance payments because of regulations governing the disposition of the thrift's holding company, the spokesman said, but in any event Fishman is not accepting severance under these circumstances.

Fishman's contract with WaMu provides about $6 million in cash severance and retention of his $7.5-million signing bonus if he leaves his job, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission stated.

His spokesman declined to say whether Fishman planned to keep the signing bonus.

JPMorgan said it would honor the supplemental pension plans of WaMu employees, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Thursday.

"While some of their retirement savings were secured by the federal government, supplemental pensions and other earned income were not," she said, noting JPMorgan had not disclosed its intentions before.

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