CEO Ed Crutchfield retired nine years ago as head of First Union, just before the Charlotte bank merged with Wachovia to form a competitor to Bank of America. Wachovia was on the verge of total collapse last year when taken over by Wells Fargo last year.
The New York Times reports that Crutchfield receives $1.8 million on the anniversary of his retirement every year and will for the rest of his life. The bank also provides him with an office and administrative assistant. The agreement also gave Crutchfield 120 hours of use of the corporate jet every year for ten years, though the story says he stopped using the jet several years ago.
Former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl isn’t paid every year on the date he left the bank, but he does have access to the corporate jet for 150 hours a year, plus an office and administrative assistant.
Bank of America board member Charles K. Gifford, the former CEO of Fleet Boston Financial, also can use the jet 120 hours a year, a benefit worth almost a million dollars.
The financial meltdown has prompted many corporations to renegotiate contracts with rank and file workers and cut pay and benefits. Some companies have abandoned promises to provide retired employees with health care and pensions.
But not if you are a former bank CEO. They seem to be flying above the economic storm.