It Pays to Be a High-Level Business Failure

Rewarding failure is back in vogue with multi-million dollar packages following recent high-level resignations at JP Morgan Chase, Best Buy, Yahoo and elsewhere.

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Rewarding failure is back in vogue with multi-million dollar packages following recent high-level resignations at JP Morgan Chase, Best Buy, Yahoo and elsewhere. If you can draw a correlation between executive performance and these outgoing severance payouts, you're a lot smarter than us.

Executive: Ina Drew, leader of JPMorgan Chase's hedging unit.

How much she failed: It's hard to beat this. The losses at the unit she was in charge of could exceed $3 billion, the news of which has already evaporated $19 billion from JPMorgan's market capitalization in two days of trading, reports Reuters. They were the kind of losses that could've prompted a government bailout at a smaller bank, according to President Obama. And thanks to Drew's team, the Federal Reserve is now examining whether similar risky trading is happening at other units,

How golden is her parachute? $14.7 million. That's according to JPMorgan's last annual proxy statement, which says she's entitled to the mammoth sum in stock awards "provided she had met 'full-career eligibility.'" JPMorgan has not commented if she'll be receiving the full $14.7 million.

Executive: Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy.

How much he failed. Dunn left the company following an "extremely close" relationship he had with a 29-year-old employee. Yesterday, the company released the result of an internal investigation of the relationship, which said he violated company policy by "engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee that negatively impacted the work environment." Employees said the behavior between the two was distracting and disturbing, according to Forbes' Erin Carlyle, though it was apparently consensual. “During one four-day and one five-day trip abroad during 2011, the CEO contacted the female employee by cell phone at least 224 times, including 33 phone calls, 149 text messages, and 42 picture or video messages," she reports. "In one instance, several photographs were discovered on the CEO’s personal cell phone that contained messages expressing affection, one of which included the female employee’s initials." Best Buy's founder released a statement saying the conduct was "totally unacceptable."

How golden is his parachute?  $6.6 million.

Executive: Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo

How much he failed: He was only CEO of four months until he got fired for mishandling a scandal over his academic credentials. (His Yahoo bio said he had dual degrees in computer science and accounting but he only has a degree in accounting.)

How golden is his parachute? $7 million. Though he won't be getting a severance, Business Insider's Owen Thomas reports that he'll walk away with a cool $7 million. "He negotiated those amounts when he signed on as a 'make-whole' bonus to compensate him for cash and stock awards he left behind when he joined Yahoo from eBay's PayPal subsidiary." The breakdown of that number is $1.5 million in cash and $5.5 million in restricted stock.

Executive: Rebekah Brooks, News International chief

How much she failed: Hmm. So many ways. But today, news comes that Brooks and her husband Charlie will be charged with "perverting the course of justice." This, of course, happened during the epic investigation of the British phone-hacking scandal embroiling the newspapers of News International.

How golden is her parachute? $2.7 million and the use of an office. That was Brooks' severance according to The Guardian.

Executive: Andrew Moss, CEO of Aviva Group

How much he failed: Moss led the insurance company during a 60 percent decline in its share price, which led to a shareholder revolt and his ouster.

How golden is his parachute? $2.8 million, according to The Guardian.

Photos: AP, Reuters and [Al Mueller Shutterstock]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.