Rick Holley, CEO of a Seattle-based real estate investment trust, Plum Creek Timber Co. pulled a shocking but very impressive move last month, when he returned 44,445 restricted stock units valued at nearly $2 million. Why? Simply because he felt he did not deserve it!
Holley told Fortune that the board was “surprised” when he informed them of his decision. “I told them I wasn’t asking for their approval. They had given these to me and I appreciated their confidence in me, but I didn’t feel comfortable taking them… This has been a year where total shareholder returns are down 10% or more. It just wasn’t the right thing to do.”
How’s that for integrity. Not only is it rare, but for many corporate executives have become synonymous with greed as stories like the Enron scandal make the headlines. Rick Holley proved that not all corporate executives are cut from the same cloth. While $1.8 million is only a drop in the bucket for him as he took home over $8 million in 2013 and still owns stock valued at $11.8 million in the company, it was still commendable of him and Holley proved himself to be a true leader.