Golden hello

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A Golden hello is a signing bonus offered to an employee of a rival firm, usually an executive.[1] The term is also sometimes used more generally to refer to a signing bonus paid to a sought-after recruit.[2]

In the UK a 'golden hello' is a bonus or financial incentive, not for executives, but "to encourage graduates to enter the teaching profession and teach priority secondary subjects in maintained schools".[3] The value varies according to the subject with Science and Maths attracting £5000 whereas music is offered £2500. The incentive is paid by the TDA teacher development agency.

In the United States, golden hellos are typically offered to high-ranking executives by major corporations and may be valued in the millions of dollars.[1] They are said to have become "larger and more common" starting around the mid 1990s.[4] Insurance/finance company Conseco paid Gary Wendt $45 million when he joined as CEO[4] in June 2000. Kmart promised $10 million to Thomas Conaway as CEO.[5] Global Crossing gave Robert Annunziata a $10 million signing bonus in 1999, but he held his post as CEO for only 13 months, and was not required to return any of the $10 million.[4][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Definition of 'Golden Hello'
  2. ^ Free Dictionary
  3. ^ golden hell. Eligibility criteria for trainees starting courses in AY2009/10
  4. ^ a b c Pay Without Performance - the Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation by Lucian Bebchuk and Jesse Fried, Harvard University Press 2004, (p.130)
  5. ^ a b Gilded Greetings Elizabeth MacDonald|| 15 May 2007,
  6. ^ DOUGLASS, ELIZABETH (March 18, 2000). "Global Crossing's Annunziata Gets $160 Million for 13 Months on Job". 

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