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Dell is shelling out $5 million to ex-CEO Kevin Rollins who stepped down on January 31 and will leave the company on May 4. The $5 million in cash will be given out over the next two years. Founder Michael Dell is back in charge and has to clean up the mess of disappointing earnings, a laptop battery recall, an accounting investigation, and HP taking over the number one spot in the market.
In an interesting juxtaposition, HP today reported a 26% increase in net income, largely credited to its relatively new CEO (since July 2005) Mark Hurd who put into practice a number of restructuring efforts. He replaced Carly Fiorina who was given a severence package of $21 million after HP lost one third of its market value during her tenure.
So top-down management appears to be very powerful, or are these two examples just coincidences? Whatever the case, this just goes to show that if you get into the CEO business, just screw up and you’ll be set for life!