03/28/2013 04:16 pm ET

ConocoPhillips CEO Gets $260 Million On His Way Out The Door

It's not news that CEOs get paid way more than you do, but recent reports reveal that some are getting paid even more not to come to work anymore.

ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva received an astonishing $260 million from his former employer when he left the company in June, USA Today reports. Apparently, the $141 million in combined compensation and stock options he received in 2011 wasn't enough to ensure a smooth exit from the company.

Unfunnily enough, Mulva's expansive severance package, or golden parachute as it's also known, is almost as large as the $266 million compensation package ConocoPhillips agreed to pay China in April after polluting 6,200 square kilometers of water off the northern coast of the country.

ConocoPhillips did not respond immediately to a request for comment by The Huffington Post.

While golden parachutes may seem ridiculous to some, others see them as a way to ensure CEOs act in the best interests of the company during times of financial uncertainty. In other instances, golden parachutes are used to recruit top talent to positions that may be riskier than safer job alternatives.

Mulva isn't the first CEO to use a company-approved golden parachute to make a safe landing. Since 2000, more than 21 CEOs have received golden parachutes of more than $100 million, according to a report from GMI, a corporate governance consultancy. That's equal to 203 lifetimes worth of work for a median-income American, according to Mother Jones.

Still, Mulva's appears paltry compared to some others: John Welch of General Electric topped GMI's list of CEO payouts after receiving $417,361,902 for his 1981-2001 tenure.



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