Johnson Controls gives CFO $20 million package to stay on until 2020

Merger would have allowed Stief to leave with $12 million before Sept. 2019

Johnson Controls International plc is giving chief financial officer Brian Stief a stock package valued at $20 million as incentive for him to postpone retirement plans and stay on with the company through December 2020.


As a result of last year’s merger between Johnson Controls Inc. and Tyco International, Stief could have triggered a “good reason” resignation clause in his change of control agreement with JCI. He would have been eligible for a severance package currently valued at $12 million if he had done so before September 2019.

The Johnson Controls board determined keeping Stief as CFO “will provide crucial continuity of senior management and will also facilitate and support the successful execution of the company’s post-merger integration and succession planning activities.”

To get him to stay on and terminate his change of control agreement, the company gave Stief restricted shares with a $12 million value. Those shares will vest Dec. 7, 2020 and become performance shares if he is continuously employed through the vesting date. At that point, the shares could be worth up to $24 million based on the performance of the company.

If the shares are worth less than $12 million, JCI will have to give Stief a cash payment for the difference.

The award package also includes additional performance shares and restricted shares, both with target values of $4 million.

Stief joined Johnson Controls in July 2010 and was named executive vice president and CFO in 2014. His retirement would have been the second departure of an executive from the legacy Johnson Controls company. Chief executive officer Alex Molinaroli left at the beginning of September, 18 months ahead of schedule.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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