Executive perk of the day, Vonage edition

By Felix Salmon
November 10, 2009
Michelle Leder finds one of the weirdest executive perks yet in the employment contract for Vonage CEO Mark Lefar:

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Michelle Leder finds one of the weirdest executive perks yet in the employment contract for Vonage CEO Mark Lefar:

The Company shall also promptly pay, or reimburse the Executive for, the costs of his private air travel from and to the Company’s principal offices in Holmdel, New Jersey (subject to the submission of reasonable documentation) in (a) an annual amount up to a maximum of $250,000 in 2008 and $600,000 in 2009 and subsequent calendar years while employed during the Term, plus (b) an amount equal to the cost of commercial air travel for each trip (i.e., the cost of a first-class, fully refundable, direct flight booked one week prior to travel) while employed during the Term.

Stripped of the legalese, this seems to mean that Vonage is paying for Lefar to commute by private jet between New Jersey and his home in Atlanta — and then, on top of that, is giving him cash equal to the price that he would have paid for a commercial air ticket, had he flown commercial. As Michelle says:

What kind of sense does that make? Has Lefar figured out a way to be in a Gulfstream and a Delta 737 at the same time?

Maybe Lefar needs his personal assistant to be with him in both Atlanta and Holmdel, but refuses to let the assistant onto the private jet? It’s all extremely peculiar.

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