Karmazin does it for love, not $

December 3, 2008

Sirius XM Chief Executive Mel Karmazin is a serial monogamist when it comes to stocks. No matter where he’s worked, from Viacom to Sirius, he only buys stocks in those companies, he told the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.

Lately, at Sirius, “every dime I’ve taken in has been spent buying stock,” he said. To show his fidelity, he wears special cufflinks in his shirtsleeves. One says “XM.” The other says “Sirius.”

Otherwise, he steered clear of stocks in the past decade or so, opting for tax-free municipal bonds or treasury bills. “So I have been a terrible investor because if you look at the past 12 years, my portfolio has only grown… 3 percent a year. If you look at stock market at that period of time, I’ve left an awful lot of money on the table. Over the last year… I’ve done ok compared to where a lot of people were.”

Speaking of Sirius, he notes all the media reports that peg his annual compensation at $32 million are not quite right.

“When I came to the company, I got 33 million options at $4.72 (each). You take the Black-Scholes formula, and it was worth $150 million. Over five years, that’s $30 million a year. And I’ve never sold a share. That four dollars and 72 cents is now worth 18 cents.”

That sounds fairly underwater to us.

(Photo: Reuters)

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