Jim Bob, Gettin' Paid Again

Times may change, but Moffett's gargantuan salary remains a constant

Spring always brings a few reliable perennials: The redbuds bloom, the bats return to the Congress Avenue bridge, and Jim Bob Moffett gets another gargantuan paycheck.

According to Yahoo! Finance, Moffett, the chairman of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, who has a building on the UT campus named for him (and a very checkered past in Austin and Indonesian affairs), enjoyed a pay package of $33 million in 2003. Moffett's crony at Freeport, CEO Richard Adkerson, didn't do quite so well, taking home only a measly $18.7 million. Just for comparison, according to the April 12 issue of the Wall Street Journal, last year the average CEO made just under $900,000.

Compare, for example, the paychecks of Moffett and Adkerson with that of one of their peers in the natural resources sector. David J. O'Reilly, the CEO of oil giant ChevronTexaco, was paid a total of $9.5 million last year, while his company reported revenues of $121 billion. Freeport's revenues totaled $2.2 billion. In other words, Adkerson made twice as much, and Moffett more than three times as much, as the CEO of ChevronTexaco – even though Freeport is one-sixtieth the size.

Given Moffett's demonstrated skill at milking his own company, perhaps UT's business school should consider creating a special endowed professorship on executive compensation: not just a chair, but Moffett's Golden Throne. Or maybe Moffett should fund the construction of another building – or two or three – on the Forty Acres, to join the Moffett Molecular Biology Building at 26th and Speedway. He can certainly afford it.

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Freeport McMoRan, Jim Bob Moffett, Richard Adkerson, executive compensation

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