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Outgoing BHP chief Marius Kloppers could still be paid up to $75.2 million in cash, shares and performance rights from the miner, according to a report in Fairfax papers this morning.
The exit package is one of the most generous in Australia’s history, topped only by that given to Macquarie Bank managing director Allan Moss, who took home $80 million when he retired in 2008.
That said, most of Kloppers' package takes the form of various long-term incentives granted to him from 2009 to 2012. He’ll start to be able to buy shares at discounted prices from August 2014, provided the company’s share price hits certain levels.
Corporate governance experts like long-term incentives because they align the interests of management with those of shareholders. This usually involves giving managers a stake in the company’s success long after they’ve retired, thus promoting a long-term focus in their decision-making.
It’s a huge figure, but at least Kloppers won’t see most of it unless the shareholders of BHP do well too.