HP raises CEO Whitman's salary to $1.5M from $1

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm •  Published: December 17, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is getting a huge raise as she enters the third year of her attempt to turn around the slumping personal computer and printer maker.

Whitman's annual salary is soaring to $1.5 million from the $1 that she settled for during her first two years on the job, according a regulatory documents filed Tuesday. The raise approved last week is retroactive to Nov. 1, the beginning of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s fiscal year.

HP said the bigger paycheck will make Whiteman's salary comparable to what CEOs of similar-sized companies make. HP earned $5 billion on revenue of $112 billion during its last fiscal year.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company's annual revenue has fallen by 12 percent over the past two years as PC sales have declined amid a shift to smartphones and tablets. Whitman has been trying to counter the downturn by expanding into more profitable niches such as business software, data analysis and technology-consulting services.

Whitman is a billionaire who agreed when HP hired her as CEO in September 2011 to accept a nominal salary partly because she realized the company would have to trim its payroll to offset the drop in revenue. Not long after Whitman took control, the company set out to eliminate nearly 30,000 jobs.

HP's revenue is still falling, but the company's stock has risen by 20 percent since Whitman took over. The Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed about 58 percent during the same period. HP's shares plunged during Whitman's first 15 months on the job, but have nearly doubled this year in a sign of increased investor confidence in her ability to get the company back on the right track.

Despite the rally, HP was dropped from the prestigious Dow Jones industrial average earlier this year, partly because its stock price remains well below where it stood just a few years ago. The shares closed Tuesday at $27.45, about 40 percent below their value in August 2010 when HP parted ways with Mark Hurd as its CEO amid questions about his relationship with a company contractor and his expense reports. Hurd is now a top executive at HP rival Oracle Corp., where he is paid an annual salary of $950,000.

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