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HP bosses rake in $65m in bonuses as tech giant flounders

14 Jan 2013
HP's Meg Whitman

HP has confirmed that it paid eight of its top executive $65m in 2012, the year the ailing tech giant rocked markets with an $8.8bn write down.

According to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, HP chief executive Meg Whitman took home $15.4m for 2012 – slightly less than 2011, but nonetheless jaw-dropping compensation given the continued losses at the firm.

Whitman received a nominal salary of just $1 for the year, but earned bonuses worth $15m for her stewardship of the company.

Other big earners at HP included chief financial officer Catherine Lesjak, who earned $6.7m over the past 12 months. Lesjak has come under increasing scrutiny after HP announced it had uncovered financial irregularities at Autonomy, the software maker it bought for $10bn in 2011.

Lesjak oversaw the acquisition but apparently failed to spot anomalies in Autonomy's books, which HP has subsequently blamed for wiping out $5bn of value in the unit.

Autonomy's former chief executive, Mike Lynch, has flatly denied HP's allegations and argued the acquisition entailed a rigorous period of due diligence overseen by HP's management team and several auditors.

Meanwhile, David Donatelli, general manager of HP's enterprise group received a basic salary of $825,000 with bonuses worth nearly $10m.

Other highly paid execs included Vyomesh Joshi, the former president of HP's imaging and printer group. Joshi took home more than $8.5m for his work at HP, despite being pensioned off in April.

His replacement as head of the printer group, Todd Bradley, took home $7.4m in pay and bonuses for the year.

Meanwhile, HP is currently undergoing a mass job cutting programme, which will see 27,000 staffers shown the door.

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