A Nice One Day Payday

The newly named CEO of Duke Energy resigned this week after only one day on the job. But it isn’t so bad. At least not for him. According to the Wall Street Journal, he will retain his full severance package and relocation expenses for that one grueling day of sitting in a high-rise office.

Despite his short-lived tenure, Mr. Johnson will receive exit payments worth as much as $44.4 million, according to Duke Energy. That includes $7.4 million in severance, a nearly $1.4 million cash bonus, a special lump-sum payment worth up to $1.5 million and accelerated vesting of his stock awards, according to a Duke regulatory filing. Mr. Johnson gets the lump-sum payment as long as he cooperates with Duke and doesn’t disparage his former employer, the filing said.

Under his exit package, Mr. Johnson also will receive approximately $30,000 to reimburse him for relocation expenses.

So let’s do the math and see how lucky this guy was to be employed for one day.

Assuming that he worked for a full eight hours on Monday, that comes out to a nice $5.5 million an hour. That’s 765,000 times the national minimum wage. His relocation alone is over half the average annual salary for an American worker.

Johnson’s resignation was apparently a forced resignation, meaning he was fired, but I assume Duke Energy shareholders will not be very happy regardless. And funneling this kind of money to the top has nothing to do with anyone’s high utility bills, right?

Can someone explain to me why an unemployed, single mother is a welfare queen, and corporate flacks getting millions of dollars for one day on the job are entitled to what they get without any challenge?