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I was poking around looking for an explanation for Friday's slide in Sun Microsystems (JAVA) shares when I read a fairly astonishing AP piece from a couple of days ago on the pay package paid in the June 2008 fiscal year to CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

It turns out that Schwartz in fiscal 2008 was paid $11 million, a 44% raise over his fiscal 2007 compensation package. That includes his $1 million salary, a bonus of $1.04 million, 66,000 restricted stock units and options on 500,000 shares. Schwartz also received $52,000 for a car and driver - i.e., he gets a chauffeur - to transport him to work for what the company describes in an SEC filing as “security and efficiency reasons.”

This all for a 12-month period in which Sun had zero revenue growth and its stock dropped 48%. Since the end of the June fiscal year, the stock has dropped another 25% on top of that, for a 15-month decline in its share price of 64%.

So you can see why he needs the security for the drive to work: protection from angry shareholders.

JAVA on Friday was down 32 cents, or 4%, to $7.64.

Source: Sun: Where Are The Shareholders' Chauffeurs?