$14 Million Raise Accidentally Overpays CEO

The largest remaining bookstore chain in the U.S., Barnes & Noble, found itself in a tailspin a few years ago as their core business was going digital. In February, 2009, they hired William Lynch as the new CEO with the mandate to lead the company our of the wilderness.

Lynch is credited with creating and implementing a successful plan to transition the book business into the digital future. He led the successful growth of the Nook product line and revamped the entire business. To reflect these achievements, with the granting of a million shares of stock he was given an increase from his 2011 compensation of $1.6 million to a total of $15.3 million for fiscal 2012.

Unfortunately the B&N corporate rules prohibited this award the company disclosed “in a regulatory filing yesterday. Half of these options would now be deemed ‘ineffective,’ giving Lynch compensation of $10 million in fiscal 2012, it said,” according to Reuters. This has caused Lynch to not receive half of the stock benefits and limit his raise to $10 million, losing the $5.3 million difference as of now. The company hopes to change that.

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