NetApp CEO lays off 500 but takes delivery of $3 million jet

Daniel Warmenhoven treats himself to a Embraer Phenom 100.

NetApp, a maker of enterprise data storage systems, laid off about 500 of its 8,000 worldwide employees last Monday. On Wednesday, the Silicon Valley-based company announced a net loss of US$75 million last quarter.

So why does CEO Daniel Warmenhoven have a new jet? According to FAA records, Warmenhoven registered a Phenom 100 on January 28th. The plane, built by Brazilian company Embraer, seats four to six adults and typically sells for around US$3 million.

"The jet is privately owned and is not a NetApp corporate expense," said NetApp's director of corporate PR, Jodi Baumann. "Dan Warmenhoven purchased the jet 2 years ago as a personal expense. It was recently delivered to him due to a long wait list."

Warmenhoven makes an easy target in a downturn: His compensation last year was just shy of $6 million, according to Forbes, including nearly a million in salary.

Yet NetApp's chief isn't the only employee doing well. The company topped the latest list of Fortune's 100 best companies to work for. "The benefits are tops," Fortune's editors wrote. "The company has gained market share during the slump, hasn't had layoffs, and has more than US$2 billion in cash on hand to help it ride out the global financial crisis."

In that light, a jet doesn't seem like such a splurge.

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