As if to give the world’s taxpayers a kick in the pants as a thank-you for bailing out the world’s financial system, it is announced that the highest paid US executive last year was a private equity company boss.
Steve Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone, was paid $700 million last year, according to The Corporate Library, an independnet US analyst house. Nearly all of the $700 million came from the vesting of shares given to him at the time of the company’s 2007 IPO.
Apparently similar tranches of shares will be vesting every year between 2008 and 2013, enriching Schwarzman by around $4.5 billion.
What has Schwarzman done to earn this money? Well, apart from other things he is the person ultimately responsible for the takeover of Freescale Semiconductor, and for the subsequent imposition of $10 billion of debt on the company.
Those people laid off when Freescale’s fab at East Kilbride was closed down, or while Freescale’s cellular division was run down, must feel pretty sick to think that their loss is Schwarzman’s gain.