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Internal Boeing Documents Show Cavalier Attitude to Safety [Wall Street Journal]
“Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t.”
“I still haven’t been forgiven by god for the covering up I did last year. Can’t do it one more time. Pearly gates will be closed.”
“This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
“I don’t know how to fix these things … it’s systemic.”
“This is a joke. This airplane is ridiculous.”
“I’ll be shocked if the FAA passes this turd.”
Ousted Boeing CEO exits with $80 million – but no severance [CNN Business]
“Ousted Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg left the company with stock options and other assets worth about $80 million, but did not receive severance as part of his departure from the embattled company, Boeing disclosed late Friday.”
Both of these articles appeared last Friday, and of course it got me thinking about my most disliked ET note ever:
I wonder how much money Muilenburg and his management team and his board of directors have pocketed since he took over as CEO in 2015 and Chairman in 2016? I wonder if executive compensation practices have changed over that span since … you know … Boeing started buying back nine billion dollars of stock every year? … Continue reading
Yep, I got more angry emails on this ET note than anything I’ve ever written, telling me what a fine plane the 737 MAX was and how the government (or at least the Obama/Deep State holdover part of the government) was just out to get Boeing and how incredibly flawed my compensation analysis was on Muilenburg and Boeing executives.
But even this article about the Muilenburg severance seemed off to me. I mean … it’s from a Boeing press release, also from late last Friday after everyone has gone home for the weekend. And since basic forensic accounting is a skill they don’t teach in journalism school anymore, not as it conflicts with a masters degree in advocacy studies, at least, I decided to dig in a little bit myself.
So I downloaded and compiled every SEC Form 4 filing that Dennis Muilenburg has ever made.
He’s EDGAR CIK# 0001471763 if you want to check my work, btw, and I’m just trying to answer a simple question …
How much money did Dennis Muilenburg suck out of Boeing over the last ten years?
Tell you what … I’m not even going to count his salary and annual cash bonuses. Nope, you’ve gotta work hard to destroy a corporate culture as big as Boeing’s, so let’s not begrudge the man whatever tens of millions of dollars he’s been paid in cash comp. Besides, cash comp is for suckers. Just ask Jamie Dimon.
So here we go. Ready?
Over the past ten years, and prior to this past Friday’s Boeing announcement, Dennis Muilenburg has acquired or been granted more than 430,000 shares of Boeing stock (all of this information is publicly available in the SEC Form 4s). Most of this stock was given to him gratis, but he had to pay to exercise some of this as options. The total price paid for these shares by Muilenburg was $12.4 million, at an average price of $28.65 per share.
Muilenburg has sold about 70% of these shares over the years. Here’s the Bloomberg insider transaction chart showing the activity, with the green flags showing net share acquisition (albeit at cheap or no cost to Muilenburg), yellow flags for no net share change, and red flags for net share disposal (with shares sold at full market price, natch.)
Over his tenure at Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg sold about 290,000 shares of stock for a total of $54.5 million, at an average price of $189 per share. His last major sales were in late February 2019, when he pocketed about $10 million in a top-tick of the all-time high Boeing stock price of $422. For those of you keeping score at home, the first 737 MAX crash was in October 2018.
That leaves about 143,000 shares still in Muilenburg’s hands as of his last Form 4 filing, which have a current market value of $47.3 million.
So over the past ten years, Dennis Muilenburg has $54.5 million in realized stock gains and $47.3 million in unrealized gains, at a cost basis to him of $12.4 million. That’s $89.5 million.
Once you buy a prize, it’s yours to keep!
And now we come to the Boeing announcement last Friday, which you can also read in all its gory detail on the SEC site.
First there’s $29.4 million in “long-term incentive awards”. LOL. Amazing how there’s never a “long-term clawback”.
Then there’s $28.5 million in pension and deferred compensation benefits. Then there are options that Dennis can exercise on 73,000 shares at an average strike price of $76 … that’s worth another $18.5 million at the current stock price. And finally, there’s $4.3 million in still more stock that Boeing has decided to give him.
All told, that comes to $80.7 million as Dennis Muilenburg is shown the door.
But don’t call it severance.
All told, that’s more than $170 million that Dennis Muilenburg has pocketed from Boeing in stock-based comp and “incentive awards” and don’t-call-it-severance payments, not even counting his salary and bonuses.
Oh, did I mention that Dennis is on the board at Caterpillar, too? They’ve only given him $2 million in stock, plus a couple hundred grand a year in cash comp.
One day we will recognize the defining Zeitgeist of the Obama/Trump years as an unparalleled transfer of wealth to the managerial class.