Skarzynski gets paid to walk away


Despite the circumstances of his ouster, former Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski is going to leave the company with a hefty severance after only one year in the post. The company is also going to pay some of his legal fees – a hint that he may have to defend himself against allegations of lying to Congress.

According to a filing Tuesday morning with the SEC, Arbitron will pay Skarzynski $750,000 in cash, less applicable taxes. The company will also pay the cost of health care for the former CEO and his family under COBRA through the end of this year and Arbitron will not seek any reimbursement of the $125,000 it paid for his relocation when accepted the job in January 2009.

“The Company will indemnify Mr. Skarzynski for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred through the effective date of the Agreement [1/11/10] in connection with matters that culminated with his resignation in an amount not to exceed $100,000,” the filing stated. “The Company will continue to cover Mr. Skarzynski under its Directors and Officers insurance policies for actions/inactions taken in his capacity as an officer and director of the Company during the term of his employment,” it continued.

Skarzynski will not, however, receive any stock awards which had been due to vest on Wednesday, January 13th.

Under terms of the resignation agreement, the former CEO is still bound by the non-competition, non-recruitment and non-disparagement provisions of his employment contract.