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Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 in Health, Society | 0 comments

Komen Severance Bill Estimated At $1.9 Million For 2008-2010

Update, 5 February:
I’ve looked at two years of IRS filings for United Way, two years for Red Cross and one year for Planned Parenthood: none mention severance on their filings.

It seems hard to fathom, but in three years Susan G. Komen paid an estimated $1.9 million in severance.

Former Komen CEO Hala Moddelmog, the woman who stepped down in November 2009 when Nancy Brinker resumed the reins, received $468,255 in compensation for the 2009 fiscal year although she worked only half of the year. The IRS filing for 2009 includes her in a list of employees who received severance packages that calendar year.

Moddelmog received another $279,734 severance payment from Komen the following fiscal year. Moddelmog was CEO of Komen from 2006-2009; she is currently President, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., a position she assumed in May 2010. Severance estimate: $234,127 (half of the 2009 compensation) + $279,734 = $513,861.

Komen’s fiscal year runs April – March. Here are the others listed on IRS filing documents:

  1. Departed September 2010: Marianne Alciati was Vice President, Research and Scientific Affairs from June 2008 – September 2010. Her compensation in fiscal 2009 was $252,465. Her fiscal 2010 compensation (six months employed) was $208,231. She is currently a health research consultant. Severance estimate: $208,231 – $126,232 (6 months estimate) = $82,089.
  2. Departed January 2010: Kimberly Earle was Chief Operating Officer at Komen from April 2007 – January 2010 ($354,642 compensation for fiscal 2008; $345,357 compensation for fiscal 2009). She became Chief Executive Officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in June 2010. Last month, she was named the inaugural President of the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. Severance: $271,781 (fiscal 2010, April 2010-March 2011) + $57,559 (February-March 2010, estimate) = $329,340.
  3. Departed January 2010: Annetta Hewko was Komen’s Vice President, Global Strategies and Programs from November 2008 – January 2010. Her compensation for fiscal 2009 was $343,986. She is currently a management consultant. Severance: $134,483 (fiscal 2010) + $57,331 (February-March, estimate) = $191,814.
  4. Departed October 2009: Gary Dicovitsky was named Vice President of Development at Susan G. Komen for the Cure in October 2008. From October 2008-March 2009, he was paid $95,291. In October 2009 he joined the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) as Executive Vice President of Development. His salary and severance from Komen for six months work was $435,200. His compensation at PCF for fiscal 2010 was $318,921. Severance estimate: $435,200 – $95,291 = $339,909.
  5. Departed July 2009: Wendeline A Jongenburger was VP Affiliate Relations at Susan G. Komen for the Cure from July 2008 – July 2009. For the seven months of fiscal 2008, she made $111,300. She is now Director Global Health Policies and Practices at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where her salary is $155,000. Severance estimate: $185,096 (fiscal 2009) – $79,500 (seven months working) = $105,596.
  6. Severance Fiscal 2008: Timothy Doke was hired as Komen’s Chief Marketing Manager in December 2007. His compensation for that fiscal year was $78,305 (3-4 months). He was named vice president for communications, marketing and public affairs at UT Southwestern in December 2008. His compensation in fiscal 2008 was $397,547. Severance estimate: $132,515.
  7. Severance Fiscal 2008: Peter Williams was the Susan G. Komen VP of Human Resources; start date unknown, departure sometime in calendar 2008. In fiscal 2008, his compensation was $433,174; in fiscal 2007, his compensation was $205,660. Severance estimate: $216,587.

Total for three fiscal years: an estimated $1.9 million.

Why do companies bestow severance? From About.com guide to human resources:

Normal circumstances that can warrant severance pay include layoffs, job elimination, and mutual agreement to part ways, for whatever reason… For executives, the severance pay may even constitute up to a month’s pay for each year of service. For senior positions, severance pay may be dictated by an employment contract. In some instances, a severance package might also include extended benefits and outplacement assistance.

And from FindLaw:

In a typical severance agreement, the outgoing employee agrees not to sue the employer for wrongful termination or related legal claims, while the employer agrees to give the employee some form of additional compensation, often called a “severance package.” Such compensation (called “consideration” in legal terms) is required in order for the departing employee’s release of liability to be valid…

The amount and type of compensation in an given severance agreement will vary according to specific circumstances, but the amount of severance pay is usually based on a number of factors, including:

  1. Length of the employee’s tenure with the employer;
  2. Circumstances under which the employment relationship ended (i.e. company “downsizing,” employee misconduct, or layoff)
  3. Employer’s financial condition (i.e. filing for bankruptcy, or experiencing economic growth)

Somebody doesn’t look very good at picking people. Or negotiating contracts.

Or else Koman is simply an intermission functioning like a gravy train. Doke, for example, had worked for one of Briken’s husband’s companies.

Very few of these individuals had extensive tenure with Komen; the longest is Moddelmog and Earle (three years). The men seem to fare far better than the women, on average, proving stereotypes can play out in an organization founded and run by women.

I don’t know if this turnover rate and severance generosity is the norm for non-profits in the U.S. in general or Texas in particular. But it sure seems excessive on both counts.

Komen Sources:

  1. 2010 – IRS 990, pdf
  2. 2009 – IRS 990, pdf
  3. 2008 – IRS 990, pdf
  4. 2007 – IRS 990, pdf
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