HP's Whitman gets one heck of a pay raise

Whitman's annual base salary has been bumped to $1.5 million from just a dollar

After guiding Hewlett-Packard through one crisis after another, CEO Meg Whitman is now earning more than $1 in annual salary.

Whitman's base pay went up to $1.5 million a year starting Nov. 1, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

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The salary was raised to be at "a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP's peer companies," according to the filing.

But the raise is a pittance compared to what Whitman could earn through stock grant and performance-based benefits, which totaled $15.36 million in fiscal 2012 and $16.51 million in 2011, according to a Jan. 11 filing with the SEC.

HP appointed Whitman as CEO in September of 2011 after ousting Leo Apotheker, who lasted less than a year after ill-advised moves in which the company purchased Autonomy for $10 billion and toyed with the idea of spinning off the PC division. Whitman, who was an HP board member at the time, was given a token salary of $1 at the time of her appointment.

Whitman, formerly CEO of eBay, has since tried to bring HP back to its bearings by adding a range of software products, revamping its server lineup and introducing tablets and PCs. Though the company had some rough patches in its 2013 fiscal year, the period ended on a high note.

HP reported a profit of $1.4 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2013, compared to loss of $8.9 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Quarterly sales totaled $29.1 billion, down 3 percent from a year earlier.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's email address is agam_shah@idg.com.

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