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HP's Whitman gets one heck of a pay raise

HP's Whitman gets one heck of a pay raise

Whitman's annual base salary has been bumped to $1.5 million from just a dollar

After guiding Hewlett-Packard through one crisis after another, CEO Meg Whitman is now earning more than US$1 in annual salary.

Whitman's base pay went up to $1.5 million a year starting Nov. 1, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The salary was raised to be at "a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP's peer companies," according to the filing.

But the raise is a pittance compared to what Whitman could earn through stock grant and performance-based benefits, which totaled $15.36 million in fiscal 2012 and $16.51 million in 2011, according to a Jan. 11 filing with the SEC.

HP appointed Whitman as CEO in September of 2011 after ousting Leo Apotheker, who lasted less than a year after ill-advised moves in which the company purchased Autonomy for $10 billion and toyed with the idea of spinning off the PC division. Whitman, who was an HP board member at the time, was given a token salary of $1 at the time of her appointment.

Whitman, formerly CEO of eBay, has since tried to bring HP back to its bearings by adding a range of software products, revamping its server lineup and introducing tablets and PCs. Though the company had some rough patches in its 2013 fiscal year, the period ended on a high note.

HP reported a profit of $1.4 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2013, compared to loss of $8.9 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Quarterly sales totaled $29.1 billion, down 3 percent from a year earlier.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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