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HP opens its checkbook for Apotheker

The new chief executive gets a hefty signing bonus and a sizable check to cover his moving costs from France to the U.S.

Leo Apotheker
Léo Apotheker

The new CEO of Hewlett-Packard is a Silicon Valley outsider both literally and figuratively. As a result, the board of directors is paying a bit extra for its decision to hire him.

Documents filed with the SEC today reveal that HP is paying Léo Apotheker $4.6 million to cover his moving costs from France, where he currently resides, to somewhere a bit more convenient to the company's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.

Besides moving costs, the documents revealed Apotheker's entire compensation package. He's getting an annual base salary of $1.2 million and a signing bonus of $4 million. His annual bonus will range somewhere between 200 percent and 500 percent of his base salary.

He'll also receive 76,000 shares of restricted stock, as well as some of the usual perks of chief executives, including lots of vacation time and access to the corporate jet.

His hiring was announced yesterday, to the surprise of many industry watchers. Apotheker spent almost two decades with the German software powerhouse SAP--and just seven months at its helm. He left the company in February.

He succeeds Mark Hurd, who was forced to resign in August in the wake of an investigation that found him in violation of the company's code of conduct. Because of his own lucrative contract, Hurd was able to walk out the door with a severance package reportedly worth up to $40 million. When he subsequently took the position of co-president at HP rival Oracle, HP sued him for breach of contract. The two quickly settled, and Hurd agreed to return 346,000 shares of HP stock.

Should things go sour between HP and Apotheker, his severance package won't be worth more than 2.99 percent of his base salary, according to the filing.

Apotheker officially begins his tenure on November 1.