By Patrick Thomas
Last year brought turnover atop some of the largest U.S. companies, including several high-profile leaders like Les Moonves and Meg Whitman. Some left under a cloud of scandal or were fired while others exited in a more orderly fashion. Here's how six of the S&P 500's departing CEOs were compensated on the way out.
Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp.
Mr. Moonves was forced to resign last September amid accusations of sexual harassment, which he has denied. The longtime CBS chief forfeited nearly $34.5 million of his annual compensation as part of a separation agreement, but he still received about $12.6 million for the year. CBS's board denied Mr. Moonves a severance package of $120 million following a company probe into his conduct that concluded that he breached his employment contract, a decision he challenged and which is now in arbitration. Representatives for CBS and Mr. Moonves declined to comment.
Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Inc.
Ms. Nooyi retired as CEO in October after leading the beverage and food company for a dozen years. She was paid $24.5 million in 2018, compared with $31.1 million the year earlier. Ms. Nooyi was paid about $1.7 million in salary in each of the past three years, while the rest of her compensation was performance-based awards. PepsicCo didn't comment beyond its proxy statement.
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Mr. Blankfein, who retired in October after 12 years running the investment bank, earned $20.5 million in 2018. Goldman Sachs could withhold millions of dollars in pay from Mr. Blankfein because of the scandal around a Malaysian investment fund. His 2018 compensation isn't affected by the potential clawback, which stems from a deferred cash grant he received in 2011 that was to be paid out this past January. Goldman is temporarily withholding that award, which was originally granted at $7 million. Goldman declined to comment on behalf of Mr. Blankfein.
John Flannery, General Electric Co.
Mr. Flannery was fired in October after 14 months as CEO, but he will still be paid about $4.3 million in severance over 12 months. GE also agreed to let Mr. Flannery keep equity awards that could add up to several million dollars more depending on GE's performance. When Mr. Flannery turns 60 in about three years, he will receive a pension accumulated over more than 30 years at the industrial giant, valued at nearly $23 million at the end of 2018. According to the company's proxy, he was paid a total of $16.6 million in 2018,but $11.5 million of that represents stock awards that were canceled. "John Flannery dedicated over 31 years of service to GE, and the arrangements reached with him...reflect that service," a GE spokeswoman said.
Stephen Wynn, Wynn Resorts Ltd.
The billionaire casino mogul left after sexual-misconduct allegations were leveled against him. He said the idea he ever assaulted a woman is preposterous. He resigned, with no severance, as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts in February 2018 and the following month sold his 12% stake in the company for $2.1 billion. Under his original employment agreement, Mr. Wynn could have been eligible for a severance payout of more than $300 million, had he been terminated without cause, according to the company's April 2018 proxy statement. In 2018 he received about $786,000 in salary and other compensation, according to Wynn's proxy. Wynn Resorts and a lawyer for Mr. Wynn declined to comment.
Margaret Whitman, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.
Ms. Whitman stepped down in February 2018 and moved to Los Angeles for a job running mobile-video startup Quibi. From 2011 to 2015, Ms. Whitman was CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., overseeing the separation of the company into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. Hewlett Packard Enterprise said in its latest proxy that she earned about $750,000 in 2018. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Ms. Whitman didn't comment beyond the company's proxy filing.
Write to Patrick Thomas at Patrick.Thomas@wsj.com