Inside Wealth

Andrew Mason’s $378.36 Retirement Package

Andrew Mason, former CEO of Groupon Inc.
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Yes, our headline is correct.

Adding to the surreal but oddly refreshing departure of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, it now appears that Mason's retirement package is minimal. As in $378.36. Not $378 million, or $370,000, but $378 – not nearly enough to even buy the proverbial gold watch (unless he shops on Canal Street).

Forget about golden parachutes. Mason may be the first CEO in modern-day capitalism to get a lead parachute.

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The package amount is derived from Mason's salary. In regulatory filings, Groupon says that if he leaves the company, he will get six months salary. (He also gets six months of health-care coverage, so the total value of his package is clearly more than $378).

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Mason's annual salary is $756.72 – clearly an auspicious number for reasons that Mason alone knows. The rest of his compensation has been in stock. And that stock has been sizeable – so sizeable we shouldn't shed a tear for Mason's paltry exit package.

Mason sold around $28 million worth of shares before Groupon's IPO in the fall of 2011. After the IPO his shares in the company were valued at more than $1.3 billion. In November, the value of his shares topped $1 billion, making him an official billionaire, at least on paper.

For a moment, anyway. Mason's net worth followed the company's slide down more than 80 percent. His net worth plunged since then from $1.3 billion to around $200 million today.

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Of course, the fate of that $200 million in stock depends on the future of the company. He can take comfort in knowing that, by leaving, he has already boosted his net worth.

That alone is a good retirement package.

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