Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) filed an Form 8-K last week, disclosing that CEO Meg Whitman’s salary had been increased from one dollar in 2013 to $1.5 million dollars in 2014. The salary increase took effect as of Nov. 1 of this year.
Don’t think Meg is being too altruistic, however, as her 2013 total compensation package was likely close to the $15.36 million in stock grant and performance-based benefits she made in fiscal 2012 (when she was also receiving a token $1 salary).
Statement in the filing
A statement in Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s 8-K filing said that Meg Whitman’s salary had been increased to be at “a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP’s peer companies.”
Meg Whitman acknowledging her contributions
Meg Whitman became CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) in September 2011 after a series of blunders by prior CEOs, including the disastrous decision to pay $10 billion to acquire Autonomy. Whitman, who was an HP board member in 2011, agreed to take a salary of $1 when she was appointed.
Meg Whitman, who cut her corporate chops as CEO of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), has tried to get Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) back on track by adding a line of software products, retooling its server offerings and moving into the hot consumer device arena. Whitman is drawing praise from some for her moves to revitalize the tech giant.
The adjustments were painful for Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) through the first half of the year, but the third and fourth quarter results were impressive. HP just reported a $1.4 billion profit in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2013, versus a loss of $8.9 billion in the 4Q 2012.
Whitman on Microsoft
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have been partners for over a decade, with Microsoft supplying much of the software in a range of HP products. Microsoft’s recent foray into consumer devices, such as their Surface tablet line, has raised hackles with their partners, and HP is the latest to join the litany of complainants.
Whitman was just shy of blunt in her assessment of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in a presentation at a conference on Wall Street in October. “HP’s traditional highly-profitable markets face significant disruption,” Whitman said. “We are seeing profound changes in the competitive landscape. Current long-time partners, like Intel and Microsoft, are increasingly becoming outright competitors.”