Shareholder Revolt Strips WaMu Execs of Fat Pay

One resigns; chairman asked to step down
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 1:19 PM CDT
A closure notice hangs in the window of a Washington Mutual home loan center Tuesday, April 8, 2008, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
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(Newser) – Washington Mutual shareholders got some of the blood they were out for yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports, as the company backtracked on a pay scheme that would have shielded company executives from the subprime fallout. Board finance-committee head Mary Pugh also resigned, appeasing investors who blamed her for failing to prevent WaMu’s mortgage-related losses.

Shareholders have put CEO Kerry Killinger on the hotseat, voting to separate the chairman and CEO positions. Though the vote was non-binding, it’s a powerful message. “You've got to take responsibility for your actions,” one shareholder told Killinger, taking the microphone at the announcement. “I think your bonuses should be taken back for the last couple of years.”