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Mon, 10 Dec 2012 15:45:00 GMT | By Michael Brush, MSN Money
10 outrageously lavish CEO perks

IBM's ex-CEO Samuel Palmisano



Chairman and former CEO of IBM Samuel Palmisano. (© Mansi Thapliyal/Newscom/RTR)
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IBM's ex-CEO Samuel Palmisano

Total perks: $1.61 million

In his final year on the job in 2011, former IBM (IBM) CEO Samuel Palmisano got a 52 per cent boost in his perks package to $1.61 million. That ranked Palmisano fourth for total perks last year. Most of that was for $489,327 worth of personal use of the corporate jet, and a $1 million contribution to a pension plan.

At least Palmisano's pay did not go up last year. But then, when you are making more than $31.7 million a year, as IBM reported Palmisano did in each of the past two years, maybe you don't need a raise.

Besides all this pay and the perks, Palmisano got a $170 million golden parachute last year. This raises the question: Since Palmisano earned more than three times as much as the average CEO in the past two years, and got such a rich parachute, does he need all the perks too? "You have to ask how much the board compensation committee is really holding the line," says Eleanor Bloxham of the Corporate Governance Alliance, which advises boards on pay and governance issues.

An IBM spokesman has said in media reports that the golden parachute reflects pay Palmisano has accumulated over the years, and that IBM stock has outperformed significantly on his watch. Since March 2002, when he took over, the stock has advanced 115 per cent compared with 22.8 per cent for the S&P 500. Company filings state that Palmisano uses the corporate jet for personal travel for security reasons.

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