This Company Awarded Its CEO $1.8 Million – Your Jaw Will Drop When You See What He Did with the Money

HolleyCorporate Chief Executive Officer bonuses are frequently criticized as excessive, and at least one CEO apparently agrees. When Plum Creek Timber CEO Rick Holley received his bonus of $1.85 million, he did the unthinkable. He returned it.

Fortune Magazine reported:

[Holley] has returned 44,445 restricted stock units back to the company because “he does not believe that he should receive such an award unless Plum Creek’s stockholders see an increase in their investment return.”

When the Board responded with surprise, Holley said,

I told them I wasn’t asking for their approval. They had given these to me and I appreciated their confidence in me, but I didn’t feel comfortable taking them…

This has been a year where total shareholder returns are down 10% or more. It just wasn’t the right thing to do.

Plum Creek Timber explained in its official filing:

…in light of prevailing economic conditions, Mr. Holley elected to return the restricted stock units because he does not believe that he should receive such an award unless Plum Creek’s stockholders see an increase in their investment return. Nonetheless, Mr. Holley remains fully committed to Plum Creek and intends to lead the company through this challenging and prolonged economic cycle.

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