The Golden Parachute Club of 2006

Top executives who left their companies this year were rewarded with rich pay packages. But is this the last hoorah?

Back in April, shareholder groups at Pfizer's annual meeting made it abundantly clear that they'd had enough with the rich payouts to then-CEO Hank McKinnell. Groups, led by the AFL-CIO, staged a raucous protest. As they handed out fliers, chanted, and held up signs to demand McKinnell return part of his pay, an airplane circled the company's annual meeting in Lincoln, Neb., with a banner reading, "Give it back, Hank!" The protesters were upset that one of the top-paid pharmaceutical executives was also going to be granted an $82 million lump sum if he ever stepped down.

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