SAN JOSE, Calif. CEOs will continue to see soft landings and big “golden parachutes” if they are fired, according to a study by global career services company Lee Hecht Harrison (Boston).
The company, which analyzed publicly available CEO employment agreements from 100 Fortune 500 companies, found CEOs can expect a median of two years salary, as well as a multiple of their bonus, and health and dental continuation in the event they're dismissed. The CEOs studied had a median annual salary of $850,000 and bonus of $1.1 million.
Renee Gilson, senior vice president and managing director of Lee Hecht Harrison's Boston office, said there is a significant variation in how CEO severance agreements factor annual performance bonuses, which are the bulk of most CEOs' yearly compensation.
Generally speaking, CEOs get three times their target, average annual or prorated bonus. "Up until recently, CEOs at America's top companies held near-superstar status and the terms of their severance arrangements reflect that," Gibson said.