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Best Buy is struggling, but its new CEO is raking it in

August 22, 2012|By David Lazarus
  • Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy is giving its new CEO a pay package worth more than $17 million.
Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy is giving its new CEO a pay package… (Getty Images )

Not that it's any of my business, but if a company is in serious trouble, does it really need to throw millions of dollars at its boss?

Best Buy has revealed in a regulatory filing that it will pay its new chief exec, Hubert Joly, a package of cash and stock worth $16.25 million. That's on top of the guy's nearly $1.2-million base salary.

Oh, and there's a stock grant of an additional $3.75 million if Joly can nudge Best Buy's stock price higher.

And beginning in the 2014 fiscal year, he'll be eligible for a bonus worth up to four times his salary.

The electronics retailer's rationale for the fat pay package is that Joly needs to be compensated for what he left on the table when he decided to quit his former employer, travel company Carlson Wagonlit.

Call me old-fashioned, but the idea of making CEOs "whole" when they jump ship seems absurd. If Joly was pleased with his former deal, he should have stayed at Carlson. If he wanted to see what it would be like to run an electronics seller at a time when the Internet is snatching away sales, go for it.

But neither Joly nor any other top exec is entitled to take all pension payments and other perks with them anywhere they go.

Or, put another way, if that's how CEOs should be treated, maybe Congress should pass a law requiring all businesses to make all workers whole any time they move from gig to gig.

Would the business world embrace such a move? What do you think?


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