A very bad taste in the mouth....
Chesapeake Energy has come under fire lately for its hefty compensation to its chairman and chief executive, Aubrey K. McClendon. On Friday, Mr. McClendon was at the top of the list of the highest-paid chief executives in 2008 for companies that are in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.
But it turns out that Mr. McClendon is more than just a well-paid chief executive. According to the proxy that the company filed on Thursday, he’s also an avid collector of historical maps.
According to the filing, in December 2008, Mr. McClendon sold a collection of historical maps of the American Southwest that had been on display at the company’s headquarters in Oklahoma City. The buyer was none other than Chesapeake Energy, which paid $12.1 million for the collection at the end of last year.
While the filing notes that the $12.1 million was Mr. McClendon’s cost of acquiring the collection over the last six years and that the collection was worth at least $8 million more, it also notes that the appraisal came from “the dealer who had assisted Mr. McClendon in acquiring this collection.”
In exchange for displaying the collection, the company was required to insure the maps and notes that its main reason for buying the collection was because “the Company was interested in continuing to have use of the map collection and believed it was not appropriate to continue to rely on cost-free loans of artwork from Mr. McClendon.”
The filing provides further justification for the purchase by noting that the map collection ties in very closely to the company’s interior design and contributes to its “workplace culture.”
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