Freeport CEO cancels employment contract, gets 1 million shares

Richard Adkerson, CEO of Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), has decided to give up his salary, bonus and other perks of an employment contract in exchange for about $36 million worth of shares in the company he runs.

Based on the agreement between the Board of Directors and Adkerson, the CEO will get 1 million shares of FCX – the world's largest publicly traded copper produce.

Adkerson will continue in his role as President, CEO and Vice Chairman but without a salary or rights to any severance.

“Our Board is pleased to have reached this agreement with Richard Adkerson," members of the Board of Directors said in a statement. "His significant contributions and proven leadership capabilities are well recognized and valued and we look forward to his continued contributions to our organization."

Adkerson has held the CEO title since 2003 and the Presidency since 2008. According to Bloomberg data, the 66-year-old's total calculated compensation last year was just over $14 million.

According to Forbes, the CEO's 2012 total compensation came in at $39 million, with a $10 million bonus. Adkerson ranked #18 on Forbes' 2012 list of America's highest paid CEOs. In the 'materials' category, he took the number one spot as the highest paid CEO.

In July, Freeport shareholders voted against approving the compensation of executives, Bloobmerg reported.

Freeport was trading at $35 per share on Monday, relatively unchanged. Shares have gained nearly 5% over the year.