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Obama camp goes after Fiorina

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Obama camp has an ad of its own going up on national cable, according to a campaign release, that hits McCain on CEO golden parachutes and invokes economic adviser Carly Fiorina. Fiorina is a former CEO of Hewlett Packard, who received multi-million dollar compensation when she left the position.

"Last week, another bank went under. But its CEO could walk away with $19 million," an announcer says. "John McCain's advisor, Carly Fiorina -- the fired CEO who left with $42 million. Barack Obama says it's got to change, demanded any Wall St. bailout restricts CEO pay."

There has been some dispute as to the amount of Fiorina's severance package. In fact, the New York Times article from Feb. 12, 2005, cited in Obama's ad, notes that Fiorina "will receive a severance package worth about $21.4 million, and stands to gain at least $21.1 million more. The additional amount reflects the estimated value of her pension, stock options and Hewlett stock holdings, which the company did not include in her severance package."

The way it breaks down: $14 million in severance pay, an additional $7.38 million "bonus for meeting certain performance goals." HP also "agreed to pay her $50,000 for legal, financial and career counseling and will continue her health and personal security benefits for about a year." And: "Ms. Fiorina also received restricted grants of about 826,000 shares during her tenure, that along with her other Hewlett holdings, now have a market value of $18.2 million. In addition, Ms. Fiorina will receive a pension of at least $200,000 a year that was not included in the company's severance calculations. The pension could be worth at least $2 million, compensation specialists said. She will also keep her computer, receive technical support for three months, and have access to a secretary for six months."

Fiorina has been notably absent from what had been a highly visible role as a surrogate, since she said neither Palin nor McCain (nor Obama or Biden for that matter) were qualified to run a major corporation.