You can count the number of times this happens on your hand: a CEO gave back his nearly $2 million bonus because he didn’t feel he’d done enough to deserve it, an SEC filing reported.
The CEO of Seattle-based Plum Creek, the largest private owner of forestland in the U.S., chose to return 44,445 shares of stock, worth $1.85 million, because: “This has been a year where total shareholder returns are down 10% or more. It just wasn’t the right thing to do,” the Daily Mail reported.
The SEC filing says Holley “does not believe that he should receive such an award unless Plum Creek’s stockholders see an increase in their investment return.”
“Plum Creek Timber’s shares hit an all-time low of just $39 in October,” reports TheBlaze. “ Meanwhile, revenue has remained about the same for about two years and the company is projected to report lower net earnings in fiscal year 2014 than in fiscal year 2013.”
The board of directors was “surprised” (to say the least!) that Holley chose to return the bonus.
“I told them I wasn’t asking for their approval. They had given these to me and I appreciated their confidence in me, but I didn’t feel comfortable taking them,” he said.
Holley made over $8 million in 2013 and still owns stock in the company, valued at $11.8 million, so he won’t be hurting due to his decision – but it is still worth highlighting, as the list of executives that forgo their bonuses is quite short.