Want to know why U.S. banks are so eager to get out from beneath the clutches of Washington by repaying billions in bailout funds? Meet Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy. In the first quarter alone the natural gas giant lost US$6 billion — yes, that’s with a b — yet he still managed to walk away with a US$70 million bonus last year, more than any other executive. While those companies that took bailout funds will now have their compensation set by a Washington pay czar, the only test McClendon faced was whether shareholders would reappoint the directors who’d rewarded him for doing such a bang up job running the company. Today, at Chesapeake’s annual meeting all the directors up for re-election were swept back into their jobs. When a shareholder called McClendon unethical, the CEO responded by saying he’d worked 100 hours a week for 20 years. Not bad. His bonus worked out to US$13,461 an hour last year.
In CEO pay, Plus ça change
One executive’s bonus works out to US$13,461 an hour
FILED UNDER: Business