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Hewlett Packard spends $13 million to fire CEO

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Hewlett Packard spends $13 million to fire CEO
Photo: DPA
15:11 CEST+02:00
IT giant Hewlett-Packard is paying Léo Apotheker a hefty settlement for his 11 months work, it emerged Friday. The German former CEO will receive around $13 million (€9.5 million) and get his move back to Europe paid to boot.

Apotheker was ousted from the top HP position last week, after the company's shares lost almost half of their value during his tenure.

But a severance payment of $7.2 million – to be paid over the next 18 months — in addition to an outstanding annual premium of about $2.4 million and stock shares worth almost $3.5 million, should ease the pain for the 58-year-old.

The settlement was revealed in HP documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

HP is also financing Apotheker's transatlantic move as well as offering up to $300,000, should he make a loss on selling his house in California.

"We didn't see this executive team working on the same page or working together," Ray Lane, who was moved to executive chairman of the board, told the Wall Street Journal following Apotheker's departure.

Former Ebay CEO Meg Whitman is taking over for Apotheker at a starting annual salary of just one dollar. However, her fortune is estimated at more than $1 billion after leaving Ebay.

One-dollar-a-year salaries have trended among high profile CEOs in the US, with Whitman joining Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang and Google executives Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin in taking only meagre wages, according to Reuters news agency.

Whitman can also purchase 1.9 million HP shares and is eligible for bonuses of up to $6 million, depending on how well the business does.

HP still has significant challenges to overcome with Whitman at the helm. The Wall Street Journal reported heavy criticism from analysts following Whitman's selection and the board's search process.

DPA/The Local/emh

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