Company directors get record golden farewells

A
record 14 company executives received golden handshakes of over £1 million in
2001, according to a new survey.

According
to the Labour Research Department, which conducted the study, this is by far
the highest number of seven-figure golden goodbyes traced in regular surveys it
has conducted.

The investigation found that 75 directors received leaving presents of £100,000
or more.

Top of the list was the £9.1 million retirement gift paid to Klaus Esser, who
headed German telecoms group Mannesmann before it was taken over by the UK
group Vodafone. The pay-off is being investigated by the Dusseldorf state
prosecutor.

14 of the companies in the list of £100,000-plus golden handshakes made more
than one large pay-off in the year. For example, energy group BG paid out three
six-figure executive golden goodbyes in the period covered following the
de-merger of its Lattice Group.

Last September telecoms company Marconi was due to pay chief executive Lord
Simpson a golden handshake of £1 million plus a pension payment of £2.5 million
after bringing the company to the brink of collapse. Protest by City investors
cut the cash payment down to £300,000.

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