Freeport CEO Waives Contract in Return for Stock Award

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson agreed to cancel his employment agreement with the largest publicly traded copper producer in exchange for restricted stock worth about $36 million.

Adkerson’s move means he gives up his salary, bonus, and rights to severance and change-of-control payments, the Phoenix-based company said in a statement today. He will continue as CEO, president and vice chairman.

Adkerson was granted a retention award of registered stock units representing 1 million shares of Freeport common stock, the company said. Freeport rose 0.1 percent to $35.73 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 8 percent this year.

Adkerson, 66, began working at Freeport in 1989 and became CEO in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. His compensation was $14 million in 2012 and he holds Freeport shares worth about $69.4 million, the data show.

On July 18, Freeport shareholders voted against approving executives’ compensation, the company said in a filing.

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