Baker Hughes CEO’s $41M golden parachute jumped by 40 percent

With Baker Hughes expected to soon become a subsidiary of General Electric, no one is coming out better than Martin Craighead, Baker Hughes’ chairman and chief executive.

Craighead is slated to receive a golden parachute totaling $41 million, which is more than 40 percent higher than his anticipated $29 million payout if Halliburton had successfully acquired Baker Hughes. After Halliburton’s attempted takeover fell apart last year, GE swooped in and worked out a deal. The merger of Houston-based Baker Hughes and GE Oil & Gas is expected to close by the middle of this year.

Even with the golden parachute, Craighead will become vice chairman on the new board of Baker Hughes, as a publicly traded standalone company controlled by GE. Craighead is currently paid $13.5 million in total annual compensation, down from $15 million in 2014 at the height of the oil boom.

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Craighead first joined Baker Hughes in 1986 and became CEO in 2012.

Five other Baker Hughes executives are set to receive golden parachutes of more than $10 million to leave the company when the deal is finalized — president Belgacem Chariag, $18 million; technology and products president Arthur Soucy, $16 million; chief financial officer Kimberly Ross, $15 million; senior adviser Richard Williams, $13 million; and chief commercial officer Derek Mathieson, $10 million.

Still, Craighead’s compensation pales in comparison to the deals some founding CEOs receive. For instance, when Cheniere Energy ousted its founder and CEO Charif Souki more than a year ago, he received over $150 million.

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The $32 billion Baker Hughes deal will leave GE, based in Boston, with 62.5 percent of the combined Baker Hughes. GE Chairman and CEP Jeff Immelt will serve as chairman of Baker Hughes, with GE Oil & Gas CEO Lorenzo Simonelli as the new Baker Hughes CEO.

Baker Hughes employs about 33,000 people, down from a headcount of more than 62,000 employees before the oil bust began in late 2014. However, some reductions are continuing. The combined Baker Hughes will have more than 70,000 employees, making it larger than Halliburton and second only to Schlumberger in the oil field services sector.

 

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