Friday, October 28, 2011

First Solar Paid Ousted CEO $29.9 Million for 15 Months Work (FSLR)

He could at least thank the German hausfraus who paid the feed-in tariff.
The stock is up 47 cents to $53.37. As the story points out it dropped 60% during Gillette's tenure.
From Bloomberg:

First Solar Paid Ousted Chief $30 Million, Topped Chevron’s CEO
Rob Gillette, who resigned as chief executive officer of First Solar Inc. (FSLR) this week after boosting production capacity during a slump, collected $29.9 million for his initial 15 months on the job and may be eligible for an $8.9 million severance package.

The world’s biggest maker of thin-film solar panels rewarded Gillette while its shares dropped 60 percent from the day he started in October 2009 through Oct. 24, the day before he stepped down. Gillette’s compensation is at least 19 percent more than what Chevron Corp. CEO John Watson earned over the same period, when the U.S. energy company’s shares gained 54 percent.

Gillette’s pay, described in regulatory filings for 2009 and 2010, also included a $5 million signing bonus to lure him from Honeywell International Inc. (HON) First Solar received $3.07 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. government to support projects using its technology, which is a rival to silicon-based solar cells made by Chinese companies led by Suntech Power Holdings Co....MORE 
Between this disclosure and Chairman Ahern's incessant insider sales, to the tune of $740 mil., I am reminded of something Joe Kennedy said before he became the first Commisioner of the SEC:

"It's easy to make money in this market," said Kennedy, famously, to an associate. 
"We'd better get in before they pass a law against it."