ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
While departing chief executives in the U.S. often end up with extravagant golden parachutes, NPR's John Ydstie reports that doesn't seem to be the case for Tony Hayward.
JOHN YDSTIE: In the U.S., CEOs exiting large companies, even those leaving under a cloud, can usually look forward to a soft landing.
NORRIS: We've seen some pretty spectacular golden parachutes paid out over the last four or five years.
YDSTIE: That's Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at the Corporate Library. It specializes in executive compensation and corporate governance issues.
NORRIS: Certainly, one of the highest was to Robert Nardelli when he left Home Depot. That was valued by us at around $120 million.
YDSTIE: And that was after five years of underperformance at Home Depot. Exit packages averaging around $40 million are pretty standard in the U.S., says Hodgson. Now, contrast that with what Tony Hayward could get.
NORRIS: His severance would amount to around a year's salary, which translates into between $1.5 and $1.6 million.
YDSTIE: Paul Hodgson says there didn't used to be this vast difference between practices in the U.S. and the U.K.
NORRIS: In the mid '90s, when the corporate governance revolution started in the U.K., that golden parachute was one of the main targets of the code writers.
YDSTIE: The Corporate Library's Paul Hodgson says the newly minted financial overhaul law in the U.S. could narrow the difference between U.K. and U.S. exit packages.
NORRIS: Part of the Dodd-Frank Act that's just been signed into law indicates that golden parachutes must now be put to shareholder votes.
YDSTIE: John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.
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