CEOs That Make a Bundle

this is about ceos who make millions of dollars

In the News


Just how much does the CEO of your favorite failed company make?

-Megan Southwick

throwing money awayYou’d think the failure of big banking would lead to the failure of money pouring into the hands of CEOs – after all, when we lose our jobs, we don’t continue to make money off of them!

Apparently this is not how things work in the alternate plane known as CEOland. In CEOland, corporate execs not only keep their money, in some cases they actually make money after being fired! Here’s a quick rundown of who’s making what.

Angelao Mozilo, of Countrywide Financial. (Yes, the same Countrywide that tanked at the very beginning of the mortgage crisis.) Last year he just squeaked by on a measly $121.5 million in stock options, plus a salary of more than $22 million. This is at the same time that the company lost $704 million and the value of their stock plummeted by 80%. Honestly, I just don’t know why he’s not on food stamps.

Richard Fuld, of Lehman Brothers. In 2007, Fuld brought home more than $40 million – which averages out to about $17,000 an HOUR. So much for minimum wage, eh? I wish I could make that much while driving my company into the ground.

Stanley O’Neal, of Merrill Lynch. O’Neal left Merrill Lynch in 2007 after having to write off $8.4 billion on the balance sheets. Thank goodness he won’t be going hungry: he left the firm with stock options worth more than $160 million as well as any number of “retirement perks.”

Richard Syron, of Freddie Mac. Yep, that’s the same company we keep hearing about, the same that gave out millions of dollars worth of risky loans – and the same that is today a major player in the financial crisis. Dicky walked away from the disaster with more than $14 million, living up to his nickname.

Daniel Mudd, of Fannie May. Freddie Mac’s sister company has found itself in the same quagmire – they loaned out too much money to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back. Nevertheless, Mudd skated, and even received a raise just as the market was collapsing, taking his salary to $13 million by the end of 2007.

Martin Sullivan, of AIG. If you thought the collapse of Enron was a big deal, then you are in for a shock. The failure of AIG makes Enron look like a flea circus. Even before the government takeover, AIG destroyed $180 billion worth of assets. If the government had not stepped in, this could very likely have caused the entire economic system to collapse. And yet, Sullivan received a $50 million parting gift from the company, you know, like on Wheel of Fortune where even the losers get a little something.

Kerry Killinger, of Washington Mutual (WaMu). Killinger was finally fired in September as the company descended into a pit from which it would not emerge. Yet, while all this was happening, and with banks falling left and right around him, Killinger scored $14.4 million in 2007, and his replacement, Alan Fishman, will be plucking down $18 million after only a few weeks in charge of the company.

Why are CEOs making so much money for failed behaviors? When someone makes more in one hour than I do in a year, despite dismal job performance, I can’t help but wonder.


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