Dow Jones Business News is reporting that today is the beginning of a “transition period” for former McDonald’s Chairman and CEO Jack Greenberg.

Under the terms of McDonald’s executive retention program, Greenberg is entitled to half his highest annual salary and payouts from long-term incentive plans for the next five years. In addition, he may continue to participate in employee benefit plans.

Greenberg will receive $700,000 annually through 2007, a total of $3.5 million, plus undisclosed incentive payments.

In traditional “nothing good is ever free” fashion, Greenberg is placed under a non-compete restriction and must make himself available to the company for whatever time and purposes it “may reasonable request.”

Greenberg resigned in December after declining income and same store sales over most of the term he served, including the first loss ever for the company reported in the fourth quarter of 2002.

For perspective’s sake, Greenberg’s annual post-resignation compensation, not including incentives or benefits, is the equivalent of some 258,300 Big Macs.

News, McDonald's