Lehman Brothers Holdings' chief executive would likely walk away with millions of dollars in accumulated stock and other compensation in the event he leaves the struggling firm - but it's a payout that's quickly losing value.
Were chief executive Richard Fuld to follow in the footsteps of other top Wall Street executives who have departed amid the credit crisis, he could leave with about $65million, based on Lehman's Friday morning stock price of $3,73, according to an analysis by executive pay consultant James F Reda & Associates.
The $65million calculation is based on what Fuld could be entitled to collect if he retires, as outlined in compensation arrangements detailed in the company's annual proxy filing in March. Fuld, who joined Lehman in 1969 and has been chief executive for 15 years, is its biggest individual stockholder.
Fuld's tenure at Lehman has come into question not only because of the dramatic 76percent loss in value of its shares this week but because of the possibility the firm will be sold.
A Lehman representative, Randy Whitestone, declined to comment on Friday on Fuld's future or his compensation arrangements.
The $65million tally includes 8,6 million in unrestricted shares Fuld holds that were worth $32,1million as of Friday morning. The value of those shares is down from $582million in November 2007 when Lehman stock traded at a 12-month high of $67,73. - Reuters