Ever heard of a Fortune 500 CEO getting paid a dollar per year? Check out Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard’s CEO, who only earned $1 during her first two years on the job. After she proved her expertise as a leader, Whitman earned a $1.5 million pay package, The Huffington Post reports.
You see, Hewlett-Packard (HP) wasn’t holding up very well as customers bum-rushed to other brands to satisfy their laptop, tablet, and smartphone cravings. Because Leo Apotheker, HP’s previous CEO, just wasn’t leading the company on an upwards trajectory, he got the axe. Megan Whitman, a millionaire who once ran Ebay, replaced the guy.
Meg Whitman then agreed to settle for a meager pay of $1 for the first two years. Why? Well no one wanted HP’s PCs in a tablet-crazed market, so Whitman sympathized that HP — amidst a painful drop in revenue — couldn’t afford her salary. Whitman then got to work to pump in greater earnings for the troubled company.
Whitman set out to eliminate 30,000 jobs (Ouch!) and attempted to counter the decline in revenue by turning to “more profitable niches such as business software, data analysis and technology-consulting services,” HuffPo adds. Now, HP’s revenue is still plunging; however, the company’s stocks has risen by 20 percent since Whitman has been CEO.
HP’s shares have nearly doubled in 2013, which is a sign that investors have increased faith in Whitman’s plans to get HP back in business. As a result, she was approved for a pay raise that gifts her a $1.5 million annual salary. “HP said the bigger paycheck will make Whiteman’s salary comparable to what CEOs of similar-sized companies make,” HuffPo states.
It must be noted that even though Whitman’s salary was a puny $1, this no way means that her income was lower than your average lemonade stand worker. Besides the fact that the woman is worth $1.9 billion, according to Forbes, she’s retrieved stock awards to supplement her yearly dollar.
Experts value her stock bonuses at around $15.4 million to $16.5 million. Yep, she was doing just fine.
Other wealthy CEOs who have limited their salaries to $1 include Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Google Inc.’s Larry Page.