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Baker Hughes Increases Golden Parachute For CEO

Five top Baker Hughes executives will reportedly receive more than $100 million in combined payouts after the oilfield services giant merges with GE's oil and gas business.

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Five top Baker Hughes executives will reportedly receive more than $100 million in combined payouts after the oilfield services giant merges with GE's oil and gas business.

The Houston Chronicle reports the payout to chairman and CEO Martin Craighead, in particular, is sharply higher than the amount he was scheduled to receive in a since-scuttled deal with Halliburton.

Craighead, who will stay on as vice chairman of the Baker Hughes board once it becomes a GE subsidiary, will receive $41 million. The Halliburton merger was scheduled to pay him $29 million.

Baker Hughes president Belgacem Chariag will receive less than half that amount at $18 million. Other top payouts, according to the Chronicle, include $16 million to technology and products president Arthur Soucy, $15 million to CFO Kimberly Ross, $13 million to senior adviser Richard Williams and $10 million to chief commercial officer Derek Mathieson.

The paper noted that such golden parachutes can run significantly higher — Houston-based Cheniere Energy paid its ousted CEO $150 million — and that Craighead currently receives less in annual compensation than he did three years ago. Baker Hughes and other oilfield services companies struggled — and laid off thousands — after oil prices collapsed in late 2014.

Lorenzo Simonelli, the CEO of GE's oil and gas division, will take over as Baker Hughes CEO after the merger is completed. GE CEO Jeff Immelt will serve as chairman of the new subsidiary.

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