Europe's Grasso Effect

EXECUTIVE SUITE

Outrage about executive salaries is missing a couple of decimals in Europe. In September New York Stock Exchange boss Dick Grasso resigned amid a backlash over his $188 million deferred-compensation package. Around the same time, the chairman of the world's third largest food retailer, scandal-tainted Netherlands-based Royal Ahold (whose U.S. chains include Giant Food and Stop & Shop), stepped down following national outrage over his failure to inform investors of the two-year, $6.8 million contract he gave new CEO Anders Moberg. The French government pressured Pierre Bilger, the ex-CEO of engineering giant Alstom, into returning a $4.6 million severance payment, and...

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