The Coles Myer results will be released on 17 March and I hear that the corporate public affairs people are working very hard to put some good spin on what is rumoured to be a shocker from the Myer department stores business. So why does the MD survive?

The conventional wisdom is that John Fletcher has already moved one of his appointees aside, that being Englishman Steve Cain in supermarkets. Lady Bracknell knows that to lose one MD might be regarded as misfortune…

However, from page 147 of the document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, comes this:

If the employment of Ms Robertson is terminated within three years of the date she commenced employment (May 2002), she will receive a payment of twelve months salary in addition to the twelve months notice period.

Her commencement date was 11 May 2002. Thus, sacking Dawn on 12 May 2005 costs Coles Myer more than $1 million less than sacking her the day before. Pages 239 and 241 of the same document contain details of her precise package, including how it was ramped up as the Aussie battler moved from US54c to US78c.

CRIKEY: You heard it first here, folks. It appears to have been all down hill since Fortune magazine put Dawn in that global list of high-powered women.

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