Oh come on, Mr. Malone!

It's one thing for public companies to offer outrageous perks to their fat cats - it's quite to another to deny it. So we have the case, courtesy of Michelle Leder at footnoted.org, of Liberty Media, the content and distribution plaything of billionaire John Malone. Liberty has its hands in lots of stuff: El Segundo-based DirecTV, Starz, Discovery Channel, QVC, etc. It's huge. Anyway, its just-released proxy declares that the company is not offering "perquisites on a general basis and believe that we offer fewer perquisites to our executives than others in our peer group of companies." OK, but then Leder gets to the tiny print in footnote 5 that has Malone receiving:

(1) $60,000 of reimbursements for personal estate and tax planning advice,
(2) $48,246 of reimbursements for personal legal services,
(3) $187,596 of compensation related to personal use of corporate aircraft, and
(4) $319,278 of tax payments.

Along with personal use of corporate cars, car service accounts, a NY apartment, shipping and messenger services, and personal security expenses, the price tag comes to $666,724. But here's the goofy part (some would call piggish, but I'll restrain myself): the guy has a net worth of $2 billion. Can't he afford his own tax planning and legal bills?

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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