4. Chesapeake's Bungling Board
Way to take one for the team all you Chesapeake (CHK - Get Report) board members. We know it's been hard for you folks considering all the craziness surrounding CEO Aubrey McClendon's latest get rich scheme -- or should we say, 'get even richer scheme' -- but still, you have truly proven that when the going gets tough, the tough take cuts in their private jet flying time.
Yes, our dear friends at Chesapeake, you continue to inspire us all.Chesapeake Energy, which has seen its shares get drilled 35% this year, announced Monday its plan to cut directors' pay and perks in order to save the company up to $1.65 million a year. Chesapeake directors now will pocket only $100,000 in cash and $250,000 in stock, according to a company filing, but will no longer be allowed 40 hours of personal jet travel on the company's tab. Nevertheless, those concerned with how Chesapeake's overseers will subsist after these corporate austerity measures need not fear. These guys won't be receiving food stamps anytime soon. A Bloomberg report says that even after reducing their own pay by 20%, directors will continue to be well rewarded for their hard work (Hey, give credit where it's due. It is hard work keeping all of Aubrey's secret dealings a secret!). The company's new plan will pay directors 34% more than the average $260,752 in total compensation received last year by board members at 15 other exploration and production companies on the S&P 500, with only board members at Apache, Anadarko and EOG Resources raking in more. Bloomberg also highlights a slew of legal but highly inappropriate business ties between Chesapeake and its outside directors, including hiring one director's relatives and donating millions to another's alma mater. But what would you expect from the gang that bought their buddy Aubrey's antique maps for millions when he was going bust and then flip-flopped when confronted with questions over his personal oil well investment plan. "Each of Chesapeake's directors has built a superb reputation based on impeccable credentials, independent judgment and unwavering integrity. We take great pride in our board," said a company spokesman. Um, excuse us for asking, but what exactly are you taking "great pride" in?