HP's Whitman gets big pay hike

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HP's Whitman gets big pay hike

Salary "competitive" with fellow CEOs.

HP CEO Meg Whitman gave up her symbolic US$1 salary and now draws an annual base salary of US$1.5 million, reflecting the 93 percent rise in the company's stock so far this year.

Whitman, HP's third CEO in four years, is steering the Silicon Valley giant through a years-long restructuring since inheriting in 2011 a company shaken by board changes, executive departures and fluctuating strategic decisions.

Investors have since credited her for bringing much-needed stability to HP, which she is trying to turn around through layoffs, cost cutting and expansion into fast-growing markets such as enterprise computing.

The new salary, effective November 1, "brings Ms. Whitman's salary to a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP's peer companies," the company said in a Securities and Exchange filing.

While Whitman drew a salary of only US$1 in 2012, her total compensation was US$1.99 million, including a US$1.69 million bonus and vested stock and options.

HP's stock, however, at yesterday's close of US$27.45, remains well off its 2010 high of above US$50, prior to the departure of Wall Street favourite and former CEO Mark Hurd.

From the time Whitman joined in September 2011, HP's stock has risen just 14.5 percent compared with the S&P 500 index, which is up 51 percent over the same period.

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