The Other Half

Ken Lewis Will Still Make Bank

Maybe not a golden parachute, but it certainly isn’t shabby: Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, who announced he was stepping down Wednesday, will receive $53 million for his pensions—that's roughly $3.5 million a year for the rest of his life. In an effort to align executive compensation with investor returns, the bank eliminated a supplemental executive retirement plan along with golden parachutes seven years ago, but before the change, Lewis had taken part in the supplemental plan for more than a decade. Accounting for deferred compensation and stock options, a researcher at Corporate Watchdog estimates that Lewis will take about $64 million—a number cut in half from what it would have been three years ago, when BofA's shares went for more than $50. Because of Lewis' decision to spend billions of dollars on the crumbling Merrill Lynch, Warren Buffett dubbed him the "ironic hero" of the financial crisis. Surely the $53 million will make that moniker easier to live with.