The Bonus Collector
A man enviros love to hate, Charles Hurwitz, chair and CEO of Maxxam Inc., got a good deal richer last year when he finally acceded to a government buyout of the Headwaters stand of ancient redwoods in Northern California. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Hurwitz, whose company owns Pacific Lumber, was paid an $11.6 million bonus in stock by the Maxxam board of directors for closing the deal under which Pacific Lumber sold the 10,000-acre Headwaters tract to the state and federal government for almost $480 million in March 1999. Hurtwitz worked for two years to get the best deal for his company, repeatedly threatening to abandon negotiations and allow logging to proceed on the tract. Enviros are appalled by the bonus, and even some Wall Street analysts say it was excessive.