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Ex-CEOs Cash In

It pays to leave your job as a CEO these days. In fact, it pays quite well.

Last week, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) revealed that it paid CEO Carly Fiorina $21 million, including stock, in severance after the board of directors arranged for her departure (see HP Plots New Course).

Today, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) divulged in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it will pay former CEO Greg Reyes $910,000 annually over the next two years for him to act as consultant to the board of directors and to current CEO Mike Klayko.

Reyes will receive $520,000 in salary and $390,000 in incentives in his new role. He stepped down as CEO and chairman last month following Brocades conclusion of an internal audit that focused on stock options (see Brocade Switches CEOs, Restates ). Results of an SEC inquiry, which is the typical follow-up to an internal audit, are pending.

Reyes, Klayko, and new director Dave House vaguely discussed Reyes’s role during a conference call to announce his departure as CEO and chairman last month. Reyes said he would work on “strategy and vision" and "customer-related activities” as a consultant.

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