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The price of failure: $35m

And Edser, in bed, Sir, was dead, Sir!

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EDS is to take a $35 million charge in Q1 to cover the severance package of Dick Brown, the CEO and chairman who was fired last week. No wonder his valedictory email to the EDsers was so touchy-feely.

Brown is to receive $12.4 million cash, vested stock options worth $5.4 million; retirement benefits - currently worth $19.6 million - to be paid in monthly instalments; continuation of certain other benefits and acceleration of unvested stock options.

Thirty-five million bucks: is that all? We must question Dick Brown's negotiating skills. After all he had the whip-hand in 1998 when EDS was tempting him away from Cable & Wireless PLC. And CEOs, like bananas, do not grow on trees, as we are continually reminded by, err, CEOs.

Mr. Brown has suffered enough humiliation already: Top Bananas deserve top dollar. Give that poor man a raise! ®

Bootnote

Dick Brown says he will always be an EDser, prompting this letter from Reg Reader Kaal Alexander:

As soon as I read your piece on the EDSer I was put in mind of a Spike Milligan limerick:

There was a young soldier called Edser,
Who, when wanted, was always in bed, Sir.
One morning at one they fired a gun,
And Edser, in bed, Sir, was dead, Sir!

Related stories

Dick Brown: Action, urgency, excellence!
EDS fires Dick Brown

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