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CEOs who walked away with millions after losing their jobs

Last updated on: October 02, 2013 12:47 IST

CEOs who walked away with millions after losing their jobs

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There are some chief executives who received millions, even billions, of dollars when they were shown the door by the company.

Let's take a look at some of the biggest golden handshakes in the world.

Source: Zero Hedge

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Image: Carly Fiorina, former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, received one of the highest compensations from her employer.
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters
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William McGuire

Compensation: $1.6 billion in stock

Company: UnitedHealth Group

Industry: Health care

Year of compensation: 2006

Overall rank: 1

McGuire was the CEO of UnitedHealth Group from 1991 to 2006. He was later forced to repay $468 million and fined $7 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Image: Pills line the shelves in the pharmacy at Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles. Inset, William McGuire.
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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CEOs who walked away with millions after losing their jobs

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Michael Eisner

Compensation: $1 billion

Company: Walt Disney Company

Industry: Entertainment

Year of compensation: 2005

Overall rank: 2

Eisner expanded the Walt Disney empire by adding seven theme parks, 10 cable channels and bringing ABC network into the fold.

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Image: Michael Eisner with wife Jane in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Photographs: Anthony Bolante/Reuters

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CEOs who walked away with millions after losing their jobs

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Angelo Mozilo

Compensation: $184 million

Company: Countrywide Financial Corporation

Industry: Finance

Year of compensation: 2008

Overall rank: 3

Mozilo, whose salary, bonus and stock were at one time valued at about $470 million, was later charged with insider trading and securities fraud and was slapped with a fine and ban.

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Image: Angelo Mozilo in Washington.
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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CEOs who walked away with millions after losing their jobs

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Michael Ovitz

Compensation: $169 million

Company: Walt Disney Company

Industry: Entertainment

Year of compensation: 1997

Overall rank: 4

Ovitz, who was working under Michael Eisner, was kicked out of the company by shareholders after just 14 months.

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Image: Michael Ovitz in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Photographs: Rick Wilking/Reuters

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James Kilts

Compensation: $165 million

Company: Gillette Company

Industry: Personal care

Year of compensation: 2005

Overall rank: 5

Kilts, who was receiving $6.5 million salary per year, lost his job when Gillette was taken over by Procter & Gamble.

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Image: James Kilts in Wilmington, Delaware.
Photographs: Tim Shaffer/Reuters

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Stanley O’Neal

Compensation: $161 million

Company: Merrill Lynch & Company

Industry: Banking

Year of compensation: 2007

Overall rank: 6

O’Neal, who walked away with $161 million after losing his job, has been called one of the worst CEOs in history.

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Image: Merrill Lynch building in New York City. Inset, Stanley O'Neal.
Photographs: Keith Bedford/Reuters

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Charles Prince

Compensation: $99 million in stock

Company: Citigroup

Industry: Banking

Year of compensation: 2007

Overall rank: 7

Prince was not only given nearly $100 million for leaving Citigroup but also a company car and chauffeur for five years.

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Image: Charles Prince in Washington, DC.
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
Tags: Citigroup

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Henry McKinnell

Compensation: $83 million

Company: Pfizer

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Year of compensation: 2006

Overall rank: 8

McKinnell gave himself a 72 per cent salary rise even though the company shares were falling.

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Image: Henry McKinnell in Davos, Swizterland.
Photographs: Pascal Lauener/Reuters

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Frederick Ross Johnson

Compensation: $53 million

Company: RJR Nabisco

Industry: Food processing, tobacco

Year of compensation: 1989

Overall rank: 9

Frederick Ross Johnson's $53 million compensation in 1989 was the biggest golden handshake at that time.

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Image: Calyon Building, former site of the RJR Nabisco headquarters, in New York City. Inset, Frederick Ross Johnson.
Photographs: Americasroof/Wikipedia Commons

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Carly Fiorina

Compensation: $40 million

Company: Hewlett-Packard

Industry: Technology

Year of compensation: 2005

Overall rank: 10

Fiorina's $40 million compensation was challenged by shareholders in court but they lost the case. She, meanwhile, lost her bid to become US Senator.


Image: Carly Fiorina in Irvine, California.
Photographs: Phil McCarten/Reuters

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