The high cost of saying goodbye

From left: Tony Hayward of BP, former AIG chief Martin Sullivan, former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli © Sean Gardner/Getty Images (Hayward), Matthew Peters/Manchester United/Getty Images (Sullivan), John Amis/AP (Nardelli)

As BP (BP) shareholders prepare for Tony Hayward's imminent departure from the chief executive's suite, his critics remain vocal about the amount of money being paid to the beleaguered CEO, who will hand the reins of the London company to American Bob Dudley on Oct. 1.

Hayward will reportedly receive roughly $930,000 a year in pension payments as well as a one-time severance payout worth about $1.6 million. With stock shares and stock options included, the package could swell to $18 million.

Hayward's case is hardly unique; unpopular executives in recent years have been leaving their jobs with multimillion-dollar packages in hand. In the process, they've reignited the debate about what constitutes fair compensation for executives of troubled companies.

Here's a closer look at payout packages awarded to Hayward and four other chief executives who left under trying circumstances.

Next: Tony Hayward

Next slide

Web results for

Published Sept. 27, 2010

U.S. News  on MSN Money

MSN Money Video