This is posted from the Charlotte Observer
Chiquita to assist execs with Charlotte move
Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2012<!-- INSET BOX -->
The iconic banana company announced in November that it was relocating its corporate headquarters from Ohio to Charlotte, bringing with it about 400 jobs to the NASCAR Plaza tower.
In a securities filing Tuesday, Chiquita laid out a relocation benefit plan for "executive officers" other than CEO Fernando Aguirre. In it, Chiquita says it will:
Pay the costs of searching for a new home, temporary living expenses and other costs like storage fees stemming from the move.
Arrange for a third party to buy and resell the executive's former home once the executive finds a qualified buyer.
Pay Realtor commissions, inspection and closing costs for the executive's new home.
Reimburse the executive for losses incurred on the former home, up to $125,000, or pay a 2.5 percent incentive on the sale price if there is no loss.
Pay for packing and moving expenses.
Pay a tax "gross-up" to cover income taxes on relocation expenses.
This type of relocation package is not uncommon for top executives of large companies, experts said. UNC Charlotte assistant professor of finance Dustin Read said companies often offer executives help with selling their homes when the housing market is weak.
"Where residential markets are really, really tough, like in Cleveland or Cincinnati, this may be the only way these executives can relocate without taking a bath on their house," Read said.
All the benefits are forfeited if the executive leaves the company within 12 months, the securities filing says.
Chiquita also announced a severance plan in connection with the move. An executive officer will be eligible for severance payments if he or she is not offered a transfer to Charlotte or does not accept an offer. The officer will not get severance if he or she agrees to move to Charlotte and then doesn't.
That last provision is the only one that Daniel Bloom, CEO of human resources consulting firm Daniel Bloom and Associates, found unusual. Often, he said, executives who initially say they will relocate but can't make it work will still be offered severance.
"The rest of it is standard corporate mobility policy that's been in place since 1950," he said.
Bloom said the average per-executive cost for relocation is about $80,000.
It is unclear how many executives this plan covers. The filing says the group includes the company's "named executive officers," the five highest-ranking employees.
Chiquita spokesmen did not respond to calls for comment. Staff writer Kerry Singe contributed.
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Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/02/07/2992343/chiquita-to-assist-executives.html#storylink=cpy
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