A done Dell deal would bring EMC CEO Joe Tucci a huge payday

October 12, 2015, 9:48 PM UTC
Key Speakers At The Oracle OpenWorld 2013 Conference
Joseph "Joe" Tucci, chief executive officer of EMC Corp., speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2013 conference in San Francisco on Sept. 24, 2013.
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Not even the biggest critics of EMC CEO Joseph Tucci think he engineered Dell’s $67 billion acquisition plan of EMC to line his own pockets. For those who know the long-time tech executive, the big deal—the largest in tech industry history—is more about being able to go out on his own terms and avoid breaking up the “federation” of companies for which EMC (EMC) is known.

But that doesn’t mean Tucci won’t get big dough if he is terminated because of a change in control of the company. In an evaluation of possible scenarios based on information in EMC’s proxy statement, executive compensation research firm Equilar found that if Tucci leaves the company within 24 months of a change in control, he can get 2.99 times his base salary and target bonus plus accelerated equity awards.

That would add up to a tidy $27.2 million, according to Equilar, which based its analysis on Tucci’s outstanding equity and EMC’s stock price at the close of market on Friday. Equilar also factored in vesting of awards, including a $9 million performance-based award that vested in February.

If, on the other hand, “there is a qualifying termination” associated with a potential change in control, Tucci would get his stock options and awards sooner but forfeit other equity awards. That would come out to about $15.3 million in Tucci’s case, according to the analysis.

And if Tucci were to just flat-out retire from EMC as it is today? He’d get just $124,000.

The only slightly unusual thing here, according to Equilar spokesman Dan Marcec, is that Tucci’s change-in-control payout is much bigger than what his retirement payout would otherwise have been. But there are clear reasons for that. “It behooves the company to sell at a high price and for him to stick around to see the deal done,” Marcec added.

For more on possible EMC executive payouts, see this Boston Business Journal report.

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