In what continues to be just a God-awful year for Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, the gas company's shareholders are now up in arms over the chief exec's pay. Here's the best part, from the WSJ.
The compensation package, one of the largest for any corporate executive last year, included a one-time $75 million bonus, a $975,000 base salary, and $32.7 million in stock, according to the company's proxy statement.
Chesapeake, one of the biggest U.S. producers of natural gas, also disclosed several transactions involving Mr. McClendon or companies in which he has an interest, including a deal to buy Mr. McClendon's collection of maps and artwork for $12.1 million.
"I have never seen a more shameful document than the Chesapeake proxy statement," investor Jeffrey Bronchick wrote in a letter to Chesapeake's board. "If I could reduce it to one page, I would frame and hang it on my office wall as a near perfect illustration of the complete collapse of appropriate corporate governance."
Here's more from Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Mitchell Schnurman.
Chesapeake's largesse doesn't end there. The company bought McClendon's collection of maps, watercolors and photographs for $12.1 million in December. It paid $4.6 million in 2008 and '09 to sponsor the Oklahoma City Thunder, a pro basketball franchise in which McClendon has a 19 percent ownership stake.
The company even spent $177,150 on catering from the Deep Fork Grill, which is half owned by McClendon.
When Chesapeake was a Wall Street darling, such things didn't get much attention. Then last spring, McClendon was loading up on Chesapeake stock and publicly promoting the company's prospects. Turns out that he was buying shares with borrowed money, with his Chesapeake holdings as collateral.