With Christmas and New Year's both falling in the middle of the week, it's been a slow week in boardrooms and newsrooms, except for lawyers filing documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission. With many analysts and reporters on vacation, companies often rush out news that they might not want to see broadly covered. Here's a selection of the best public filings of the holiday season.
Monday, Dec. 23
1. Occidental Petroleum pays out big to its former chairman.
After Ray Irani was ousted as chairman of the Southern California-based oil and gas production company Occidental Petroleum in May, he claimed that he been effectively fired and was due the benefits from his employment agreement. The Monday before Christmas, the company announced that it had "settled this dispute and resolved all matters relating to his separation."
The cost of reaching an agreement with its former longtime chairman? A $14 million lump-sum payment $1.3 million a year in financial planning, tax assistance, and security services, as well as a slew of benefits — maintaining his office, his parking space, his two assistants, earned and unused vacation time, his entire 2013 salary, liability insurance, life insurance, covering legal costs, and more — that will cost the company $26 million.
2. Barnes and Noble pays its chief financial officer.
3. Cisco executives plan to sell stock.
Tuesday, Dec. 24
Thursday, Dec. 26
5. Discover rewards its CEO.
The credit card and financial services company disclosed that it had granted David Nelms, its CEO and chairman, 200,000 restricted stock units that would vest over five years — or if he was let go not for cause or if the company was bought. The reason? "To promote retention and support continued progress on the Company’s long-term strategy over a five-year vesting period." Nelms has been CEO since 2004 and chairman since 2009.