Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forget the lottery; go to business school

Posted By on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Don't worry: You don't have to get good grades in business school, and you may not even have to pay — work things right you can get the government to pay your tuition. And, for you trust-fund babies, just hire someone else to do your homework to get you through. Heck, it will be good practice for the corporate world where you'll be expected to weasel and back-stab your way to the top of the corporate ladder. Bonus to those who can look sincere on camera while glossing over the truth. *wink*

Don't worry once you're hired at some big corporate firm, either. You'll need little more than glitter and bullshit to get your "job" done. If you fuck up? Surprise! Lottery-winning-like severance pay. And definitely don't worry where the money's coming from — the schmucks beneath your feet can pool their resources to make sure your pathetic life is sweet as candy for the remainder.

The Daily Beast outlines the top 20 CEO golden parachutes, and the stunts that earned them. Here's a snippet:

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd may be hurting from the media swirl around his alleged relationship with a contractor and false expense reports, but his wallet will stay fat thanks to a severance package valued at $34.6 million in cash and stock.

And how’s the man Hurd succeeded as America’s favorite entitlement whipping boy, BP CEO Tony Hayward? He was exiled to Siberia and will leave his post in October—but not without a severance and pension package reportedly worth $17 million.

But Hurd and Hayward are hardly the best-paid paragons of questionable ethics and mismanagement. The Daily Beast inspected news reports and Securities & Exchange Commission filings spanning more than 25 years to find the 20 titans of industry who, despite very public professional failings, walked away with tens, even hundreds of millions in cash and stock.

To come up with our list of 20, we separated the leaders of industry into two groups—those who resigned or were fired under the taint of ethics scandals, and those who left because of professional failings. We then combined the 10 highest paid from each group—reflecting the total value of the exit packages—into our final list of 20.

See pictures of the big winners — um, the CEOs who got the ax — here. I guarantee you'll be surprised at the antics that can earn you a long life of luxury from corporate America's best-known firms. Just click the picture in the middle of The Beast's story to start the slideshow.

If you haven't already, watch the documentary The Corporation. Here's the trailer:

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