Corning's Ex-CEO Bags Over $10M
That's just for starters. According to a proxy statement recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Loose, who retired at 60 from Corning's management and board last April after a 38-year career with the company (16 months of which included his CEO stint), was awarded $5,902,000, plus $283,333 of his base salary, which was $850,000, for 2002. None of the preceding totals includes Loose's stock awards or additional compensation
As part of what Corning terms a "settlement agreement" with Loose, the company followed these amounts up with another $4,540,000 early in 2003. In addition, Corning has purchased Loose's principal residence "at its appraised value," according to the SEC filing.
According to Corning spokesman Dan Collins, the company agreed to purchase Loose's home as part of his retirement agreement. The appraised value was about $800,000. About half of the $4,540,000 payment represented compensation to Loose for what he put into his home and property above the appraised value, while the rest was meant to cover his tax liability for the payment from Corning.
Starting this year, Loose will receive $925,000 per year in an "enhanced pension benefit."
Bottom line? Corning has awarded its former CEO well over $10 million in the eight months since he retired. .
Coincidentally, $10 million is the minimum amount Corning expects in net loss this quarter (see Corning Confirms Guidance). The company continues to struggle through restructuring, although execs expect a return to profitability this year (see Corning: Profits on the Horizon and Corning Woes Continue).
The latest Loose compensation figure is even higher than the amount that made local headlines in Corning's upstate New York headquarters last August. Then, readers of the Elmira, N.Y., Star-Gazette expressed "disgust" and "puzzlement" over reports of Loose's $6 million severance package.
Corning's other execs didn't fare as well as Loose last year, though they can't be hurting. Top pay went to new CEO James R. Houghton and president and COO Wendell Weeks, who each earned $633,333 -- with no bonus.
Indeed, Corning's executive compensation committee called 2002 "clearly a very disappointing year for Corning, its employees and its shareholders." According to the committee, "Actual performance in 2002 fell short of the goals set by the Committee, resulting in zero cash bonuses and significant year-over-year reductions in equity grants made to Corning's named executive officers."
— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading