HP boss gets raise despite persistent sales slump

AP News
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Posted: Feb 02, 2015 2:43 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard boss Meg Whitman has graduated from the dollar-a-year club, as the struggling company prepares to split up.

The veteran tech CEO was paid $19.6 million in cash and stock last year, up from $17.6 million in 2013, after HP's board of directors raised her base salary to $1.5 million from $1 and bestowed additional cash and stock awards based on her performance last year.

HP has reported declining revenue for each of the last three years. Whitman, who was named CEO in 2011, has warned shareholders that a turnaround would take several years.

Despite the sales slump, HP's board concluded Whitman beat performance targets that directors had set for revenue and cash flow in 2014, according to a regulatory filing on Monday. The board also said she had improved the company's product lines and strengthened its cloud-computing capabilities, while preparing for the impending split into two companies. One new company will sell personal computers and printers, while the other focuses on commercial tech products and services for business customers.

Whitman had received a base salary of $1 a year since she became CEO. That's not unusual for leaders of big tech companies who generally receive valuable stock grants in addition. But HP's board concluded that a raise to $1.5 million was warranted "considering the stage of our turnaround."

She also received $4.3 million in incentive payments based on her performance, along with $8.1 million in stock grants and $5.4 million in stock options that vest on the basis of the company's stock performance in coming years.

HP's stock rose about 50 percent during its 2014 fiscal year, closing at $35.73 on Oct. 31. Shares were trading just below $36 on Monday, down less than 1 percent for the day.