SEC Watch: AOL’s Cahall Got Retention Bonus 10 Days Before Leaving; Armstrong Caps ’09 At $25M


AOL (NYSE: AOL) has to prove its mettle this year in full public view, in more ways than one. And 2010 may not be a great year for compensation increases for the top execs. In line with that, the company has decided to not increase based salary this year, according to a SEC proxy filing this morning, same as 2009. However, as always, other perks more than make up for it. Interestingly, Ted Cahall, till recently the CTO of AOL, got a secondary retention payment 10 days before the company announced his departure. From the filing: “Pursuant to a secondary retention program for Mr. Cahall established in December 2008, Mr. Cahall received a retention payment of $100,000 on May 15, 2009 and a retention payment of $354,000 (an amount equal to 60% of Mr. Cahall



sickening to see these numbers…when you know these are the same people that had brought a once-sound company to its knees…

Jason Weisberger

Typically a company makes a retention payment at the end of the period they intended to retain said employee for. Thus it makes perfect sense that Cahall leave after the retention payment was made and not before. Frequently you see everyone from line-employees to C-titled executives leave after the retention payment is made; before would be kind of silly.

Leaving after the payment would indicate a successful program.

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