There's a tendency to justify these outrageous "Golden Parachute" deals by pointing to the just-as-looney standards for top CEO compensation. Let's have some perspective here. What was Shaheen's "risk" when he left Anderson -- that he'd be forced to settle for a $2-million-a-year job after Webvan, since he would be too tarnished to get another $4 million job like he had at Anderson? That his savings from his Anderson job would run out, and he'd be forced to live in a refrigerator box, eating Alpo?
I say it's time to replace the "Golden Parachute" with the "Golden Bungee Cord." Give the failed CEO a nice severance check, attach the giant rubber band to his ankle, and let him fly out the corner office window. This way, the CEO is unharmed, yet he gets to know what his stockholders felt like when their share prices plummeted.