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Massey CEO Don Blankenship's Retirement Package: $12M in Cash, Health Insurance, a Secretary and a Chevy

Don Blankenship's retirement package has just about everything a man, certainly one who was at the helm of Massey Energy (MEE) when one of its mines exploded and killed 29 workers, could want. There's cash of course. But there's so much more interesting stuff contained in the company's recent SEC filing outlining Blankenship's retirement agreement.

First, there's the cash. Blankenship will receive $2 million on Dec. 31, 2010 and another $10 million paid on July 1, 2011. There will be more cash in the form of various performance-based cash incentives and 2010 performance-based restricted stock awards. And every retiree needs some assurances of health coverage. Blankenship will continue to be covered by Massey's health insurance, that includes dental, for two more years. But there's lots more.

Other items included in the retirement package:

  • A secretary and continued use of his current office (in a pre-manufactured building where he's worked for years) for the next three calendar years while Blankenship offers "consulting" services to Massey;
  • Blankenship will be paid a $5,000 per month retainer fee and reasonable expense reimbursement for consultant services for two years;
  • The option to buy for cash at its appraised fair market value the property owned by Massey that surrounds the residence Blankenship lives in in Sprigg, West Virginia.
  • A non-exclusive personal access easement through the property owned by the company's subsidiaries;
  • Title to the 1965 Blue Chevrolet truck that Blankenship previously transferred to the company;
  • And most importantly ... access to Blankenship and his attorneys to documents in possession of Massey necessary to defend himself in litigation or investigations arising out of his employment.
Blankenship does have to agree to certain guidelines to cash in on the deal, mostly standard competitive protection rules like not encouraging employees to leave Massey, hiring employees for another venture, or talking smack about the company for two years. And he has to cooperate and assist with litigation as requested by Massey.

Footnoted.org dug up other interesting tidbits regarding Blankenship's pension, which is about $5.7 million as of the company's April 16 proxy filing and the $27.2 million in his deferred-compensation account. By retiring, again Footnoted.org explains, Blankenship can continue to cash in his options for up to three years.

In all, it's a sizeable -- heck, an egregious -- retirement package. And it could get bigger, if the board decides to add anything on before Blankenship's official retirement date.

Photo from Flickr user zzzack, CC 2.0
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