High Rollers

Crazy CEO Perks, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Martha Stewart

Outrageous executive privileges enjoyed by Martha Stewart, Sheldon Adelson and others.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s chairman has wacky rules for flight attendants on his corporate jet. See outrageous executive privileges enjoyed by Martha Stewart, Sheldon Adelson and others.

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Custom-Dressed Flight Attendants

What kind of perks do high-flying executives get when flying on their corporate jets? According to an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by the former pilot of Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Michael Jeffries, the clothing mogul had outrageous rules for the flight attendants on his Gulfstream G550. Among the demands Jeffries made were that men had to wear A&F polo shirts, shorts, flip-flops, and boxer briefs. In addition, the Phil Collins song “Take Me Home” was to be played when passengers were on return flights, and black gloves were to be worn when employees handled silverware (while white gloves were to be used when setting tables). Jeffries even had a rule for how toilet paper was to be folded, and his dogs had their own seating arrangements—which is just barking mad.

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$2.6 Million for Personal Security

As the billionaire CEO of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson donated millions to the presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich and is now a major Romney donor. But being a sky-high roller also makes Adelson a target. In addition to receiving $13.9 million in compensation this year, the casino mogul has a personal security package valued at $2.6 million.

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$29,000 for a Personal Trainer

For certain executives, looking good is part of the job requirement. As founder and chief creative officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Stewart has a compensation package that includes more than $29,000 for a personal trainer. But apparently long Sunday walks aren’t part of her exercise regimen—the company also spent nearly $75,000 last year on Stewart’s weekend driver.

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$5.9 Million for Basketball Tickets

In 2011, Forbes called Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, “America’s most reckless billionaire.” Known for his lavish lifestyle—including weekend business trips to Bermuda with his family that cost more than $100,000—McClendon’s company spent $5.9 million in 2011 on basketball tickets for the Oklahoma City Thunder. And who happens to own 19 percent of the team? Aubrey McClendon.

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$724,000 for a Car and Driver

As the CEO of the insurance giant Travelers, Jay S. Fishman was compensated more than $25 million last year, making him the 38th highest-paid executive according to Forbes. Back in 2010, Fishman received an outrageous perk from the company, spending $724,000 on a car and driver (as well as some airplane expenses). Presumably that also comes with excellent auto insurance.

Phil Mccarten / Landov

$121,318 on Health Premiums

It’s in a company’s best interest to give a chief executive a so-called Cadillac insurance plan—an unusually high health-care package that ensures low deductibles and excellent benefits for expensive treatments. According to Fortune, Live Nation Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff received nearly $35 million in compensation last year. And part of that package was the $121,318 that Live Nation spent on his health premiums above what it paid for other employees.

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$95,000 for Car Service

She may no longer be CEO of Avon, but longtime chief executive Andrea Jung is still enjoying the privileges that came with the job. This year, Avon spent more than $145,000 on Jung’s perks, including her personal car insurance. What makes that perk so outrageous? Avon also gave Jung a car service allowance worth more than $95,000.

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$1.3 Million for a Private Runway

In 2007, The New York Times reported on an extraordinary perk that Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin enjoyed. For $1.3 million a year, the company paid for the executives to use a private NASA runway for their corporate jet. As part of the parking pemit, NASA is allowed to place scientific instruments on the Google planes and use them as research. But the unusual deal had plenty of skeptics: “If they are doing science missions, that’s OK,” Lenny Siegel, director of the Pacific Studies Center, said of the Google perk. “If they are doing it just because they are rich and popular, it is not OK.”

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$96,725 for...a Calligrapher

Mitt Romney may have an elevator for his cars, but becoming the nation’s chief executive comes with some pretty great perks as well. In addition to the $400,000 salary a president receives, Barack Obama also has his own plane, movie theater, personal chefs, vacation retreat—and of course round-the-clock security. But perhaps the strangest presidential perk is the White House Chief Calligrapher, who earns $96,725 to create invitations, placecards, and other official documents. The chief calligrapher can also probably sign some fancy checks.