CEO Awarded $60 Million to Lead Linn Energy Firm Past Bankruptcy

(Bloomberg) -- The same day Linn Energy Inc. exited bankruptcy, it awarded Chief Executive Officer Mark Ellis a $60 million compensation package, more than three times the amount Exxon Mobil Corp. paid its CEO.

CEO Awarded $60 Million to Lead Linn Energy Firm Past Bankruptcy

Ellis’s pay included an equity grant worth $58 million, split between restricted shares and so-called Class B units, which are classified as profit interests for tax purposes, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. Both vest in increments over four years, but the units are deliverable only when Linn’s equity value exceeds $2 billion. That condition has already been satisfied, the filing said.

The Houston-based exploration and production company exited Chapter 11 protection in February of last year. The collapse in oil and gas prices that begun in 2014 sent the firm reeling after 62 transactions over the previous decade had ballooned its debt load to about $4 billion.

Ellis, who’s led the company since 2010, also received $900,000 in salary and a $1.04 million bonus. Chief Financial Officer David Rottino and Chief Operating Officer Arden Walker each received awards of $24.7 million. The company didn’t immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment.

For the first year on the job, Exxon CEO Darren Woods made $17.5 million. His pay consisted of a $1.2 million salary, $1.85 million cash bonus and performance shares valued at $10.8 million.

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