Stock Down 60%, CEO Bonus Up $75 Million

Nov. 3, 2011 – The CEO of Chesapeake Energy sold more than 500 antique maps to his company in 2008 form more than $12 million when he found himself short of funds. In a settlement with shareholders who had sued for his excessive payday, Aubrey McClendon agreed to buy these maps back at about 2% interest.

This was considered a hollow victory, since McClendon had also engineered a $75 million “retention bonus” that same year as part of a $112 million pay package.

“The bonus came in a year in which Chesapeake’s stock . . . dropped by almost 60%,” according to Russell Gold in the Wall Street Journal. It was lucky timing, because things had gotten so bad for McClendon that year that he had to sell 94% of his company stock to cover margin calls.

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