Wouldn’t you like a severance package that former Meredith President Jack Griffin got when he decided to leave the organization to take the helm of Time Inc? While you would assume since Griffin left voluntarily he received nothing, that’s not what happened. Meredith handed him $1.4 million. Not a bad going-away gift.
Footnoted blog picked up the scoop:
On August 30, an Exhibit (“Separation Agreement and Release”) attached to Meredith’s 10-K disclosed that Griffin got about $1.4 million worth of payments and benefits on his way out the door; and it appears that Meredith was not contractually obligated to pay him most of that money.
Writer Sonya Hubbard pointed out that Griffin could have been forced out by Meredith and that’s the reason he got the money. But considering Griffin picked up the top spot at Time Inc. four days later, it’s unlikely.
Here’s what Griffin’s contract states, if he were to leave on his own accord.
“…in such event the Company’s only obligation to Griffin shall be to make Base Salary payments provided for in this Agreement through the date of such voluntary termination… and (b) the Company shall have no further obligation to pay any bonuses to Griffin under the terms of the MIP or this Agreement.”
Yet the company handed him a huge check instead. I would have loved to hear those negotiations. Here’s my fake interpretation:
Griffin: “I’m leaving to go to Time Inc.”
Meredith board: “Really?! Well no hard feelings; here’s a check for $1.4 mill for your troubles. We love ya bro.”
Griffin: “Back at you bud. Peace.”
Yes, this is actually how I imagine all board negotiations going.