Meg Whitman's salary bumped from a buck to $1.5 million

As Hewlett-Packard stock prices beat Wall Street's expectations this year, the company's CEO is in line for a major raise.

Hewlett-Packard's president and CEO Meg Whitman. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman appears to be getting a big reward for working to make the company more efficient.

The company's board has decided to up her salary from a mere $1 to $1.5 million, according to a HP filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The filing says that the board members want to "bring Ms. Whitman's salary to a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP's peer companies." This salary increase was effective as of November 1.

HP's stock price has done well during the past year, which is most likely another reason for the board's decision. Due to cost-cutting in several units and production lines, the company saw revenue declines in the fourth quarter, but its share earnings were better than expected . HP reported a profit of $1.4 billion, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $29.1 billion this past quarter.

When Whitman took over at HP in 2011, she joined a legion of Silicon Valley executives who agreed to work for a single buck per year. The former eBay CEO also had the option to purchase 1.9 million shares of HP stock that would vest only when and if the company's stock price increased 120 percent over its price at that time.

Despite Whitman's meager salary, she has still been awarded end-of-the-year bonuses. Last year, she received a $1.7 million bonus along with additional stock options.

The $1 paycheck has become commonplace in the Valley in the past decade; previous executives opting for the symbolic salary include Apple's Steve Jobs; Google's Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page; Yahoo's Carol Bartz and Terry Semel; Cisco Systems' John Chambers; and Oracle's Larry Ellison, among others.

When contacted by CNET, HP had no additional comments beyond the filing.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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