$56 million golden parachute: The CEO of Heinz might get a $56 million golden parachute if he is fired.
The CEO of H.J. Heinz might get a “golden parachute” worth $56 million if he is ousted from his job following the acquisition of the food company.
If Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital acquires Heinz, a $28 billion Pittsburgh-based company, CEO William Johnson might be forced to leave, according to The Associated Press. However, it is unclear what his future role would be and it depends on the completion of the deal to sell Heinz to investors who want to make the company private.
Last month, Berkshire announced it is buying Heinz for $23.3 billion, according to a regulatory filing on Monday. The deal allows Johnson to step down with $40 million if he chooses, but if the new owners force him to leave, he gets another $16 million, reported AP.
“This compensation consists of equity that Mr. Johnson accumulated over his 30-year career with Heinz and existing equity awards and contractual rights that were in place well before the announcement of the proposed merger,” Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen told Reuters.
Mullen said that Johnson’s large pay out is due to his success as the company’s CEO over the past 15 years.
“The payments reflect Mr. Johnson’s success in creating billions of dollars in shareholder value over his successful 15-year tenure as president and CEO,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Mullen told AP that there has been no new word about Johnson’s future company role if Heinz is acquired.
Johnson last month said that if Heinz is taken private, it would give the firm more flexibility to make decisions faster. When the company grows more, the “safer people will be,” he said, referring to job security, according to AP.
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