Heads or Tails, Some CEOs Win the Pay Game

Boards set performance goals, but many later move the benchmarks to allow big payouts
Coins: Illustration by Steve Caplin; Hand: CSA Images/Getty Images

The biggest annual loss in Alpha Natural Resources’ history should have been bad news for Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield. Under the compensation formula set by the coal miner’s board, Crutchfield wasn’t entitled to a cash bonus in 2011. Yet directors at the Bristol (Va.)-based company paid him a $528,000 bonus anyway, for total pay of $6.7 million, citing his “tremendous efforts” toward improving worker safety.

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