E-Trade CEO Refunds $21 Million In Salary

Shareholder uproar prompts the exec to renegotiate his contract.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

May 10, 2002

1 Min Read

The CEO of online brokerage E-Trade Group Inc. has been forced to return $21 million in compensation after renegotiating his employment contract. The move comes after shareholders of the company raised a ruckus about his excessive earnings.

In 2001, Christos Cotsakos' wages included a base salary of nearly $800,000, a bonus of $4.1 million, $29 million in stock, and $9 million toward his retirement plan. E-Trade also forgave a $15 million loan made to him last year.

But in a year in which E-Trade posted a net loss of $241.5 million, or 73 cents a share, the remunerations were a bit too much for shareholders to take, and the company renegotiated the contract.

Under the terms of the new two-year contract, Cotsakos will receive a zero base salary and an annual bonus based entirely on the company's performance. He'll also return $15 million of his stock package and $6 million from the retirement plan.

In a statement, Cotsakos said he was responding to shareholder concerns by renegotiating the contract and wanted to eliminate any doubts about his commitment to the company's financial success.

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