Human Capital & Careers

Carty Gets $300,000 Thank-you from Dell

Retired CFO, still on the board, is cited in a non-contract award for service that includes dealing with an SEC probe of accounting.
Stephen TaubJune 30, 2008

Dell Inc.’s recently retired vice chairman and CFO, Donald J. Carty, was awarded $300,000 “in recognition of his dedicated service to the company,” including working with the audit committee during an investigation of its accounting practices.

The computer maker said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that during his tenure as CFO, from January 1, 2007 through June 13, 2008, Carty managed the company’s audit-committee responses while also assisting in designing and implementing the company’s current business strategy and defining Dell’s current productivity and cost initiatives.

Dell noted that the cash award was not made under any prior plan, contract or arrangement, and was approved by the board’s Leadership Development and Compensation Committee. Carty, a 16-year Dell director, remains on the board.

His appointment in late 2006 as vice chairman and CFO came amid reports that company accounting for warranty accruals was being probed by the SEC. The company also had recently delayed filing its quarterly results “due to questions raised” in an ongoing investigations by the SEC, the company’s audit committee, and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

At the time, Carty was praised for stabilizing and restoring credibility to the struggling computer maker. “Don has played a key role in reestablishing transparency and integrity in our financial practices,” said Chairman Michael Dell in May, when the company named General Electric Co. veteran Brian Gladden as Dell senior vice president and CFO.

Carty is probably best known for his five-year stint as chairman and CEO of American Airlines parent AMR Corp., where he also had been CFO. But Carty had mixed reviews at AMR during his tenure as CEO from 1998 to 2003. When American plunged toward bankruptcy after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he convinced employees to agree to major concessions. At the same time, though, it was revealed that he had secretly approved bonuses and pension perks for himself and other senior executives, according to the Associated Press. Carty wound up resigning amid the furor.

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