That was big news. But Jha's $104 million compensation package isn't as big as it seems.
Jha is getting paid a king's ransom, and, yes, his base salary did jump 46 percent in 2009. But a lot of his $104 million potential might never be reached.
Table 1: Sanjay Jha's Base Salary
He got 10,211,226 stock options -- a full 42 percent of his total package -- in 2008. Those options have an exercise price of $9.82, Moto's closing stock price on August 4, 2008.
Moto shares were down $0.20 (3.08%) to $6.30 in late afternoon trading on Monday. The stock hasn't been back above $9 since September. So, relatively speaking, Jha's big payday potential kicks in only when he has helped the stock climb by around 40 percent.
Another thing to keep in mind: Moto didn't write Jha's contract in a vacuum. It had to lure him away from another high-paying job at Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), where he was due to get paid handsomely if he had stuck around a couple more years. Moto says around 60 percent of Jha's stock options were granted to replace the compensation he walked away from at Qualcomm.
The company also defends Jha's guaranteed $30 million payment as something necessary to get him to sign a two-year non-compete agreement.
Another key detail: None of Jha's equity awards is vested, so even if something Jha does causes investors to flip out and decide that Motorola is suddenly a stock worth owning, he won't be able to ring the register for his full take the second the stock price ticks above $9.82.
Maybe you still think Jha's getting paid too much. But what's a guy turning around Motorola's devices unit supposed to make?
More than that, I want to know how much impact is Jha alone really going to have on a Moto turnaround? I don't have an answer, but I do think Motorola's $100 million man is worth much more ink than we've been giving him.
— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading