CHIEF ACCOUNTING OFFICER FIRING COST IPG $2.5 MILLION

SEC Document Lays Out Nick Cyprus' Contract Terms

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- It cost Interpublic Group of Cos. a lot to hire Nick Cyprus -- and even more to fire him.
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Interpublic last week disclosed the exit of Mr. Cyprus as its controller and chief accounting officer, and a March 24 regulatory filing said Mr. Cyprus “has been terminated, for reasons other than `for Cause.’”

$2.5 million exit package
Mr. Cyprus, 52, was Interpublic’s highest-paid executive in 2004 due in large part to a $1.83 million signing bonus the company provided to lure him from AT&T Corp. earlier that year. He’s now in line to get an exit package worth about $2.5 million, according to Ad Age’s analysis of the filing.

The package includes two years’ salary at $483,500 a year; “incentive equivalents” of $302,188; a “miscellaneous allowance” of $90,000; life insurance payments till age 65 worth $240,000; an $80,000 contribution to the Capital Appreciation Plan; vesting of stock grants with a value (at the current stock price) of about $776,000; $20,000 for legal fees; and $15,000 for outplacement services.

He also gets to keep stock options, performance shares and, till age 65, his Executive Medical Plus insurance.

Revolving door of financial execs
Mr. Cyprus is the latest in a string of financial executives to enter and exit Interpublic since its bookkeeping woes began in 2002.

Mr. Cyprus’ original contract required him to repay his sign-on bonus in full “in the event his employment is terminated within two years of the commencement date”—May 24, 2004—“either by executive, except for either `Good Reason’ or death, or by Interpublic for `Cause.’ “

He’s leaving before the two-year mark. But because Mr. Cyprus was terminated for some unspecified reasons other than cause, the bookkeeper gets to keep his signing bonus.

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