John Clendening, who became CEO of Blucora a year ago, received $4.8 million in compensation for 2016. Recent SEC filings show most of that amount came from $2.5 million in stock awards and $1.4 million in option awards. Blucora is the parent of TaxAct and H.D. Vest and named new CEOs to those operations this year. Neither was a named executive for 2016, but are for 2017.

Last was a big year of change. On April 4, 2016, Clendening replaced William Ruckelshaus, who received $1.6 million, primarily from a lump-sum severance. Blucora sold its Monoprice and InfoSpace subsidiaries. It also plans to relocate its headquarters from Belleview, Wash., to Irving, Texas, by June.

Roger Ochs, the former CEO of H.D.Vest, was given $2.9 million in compensation. No figures were available for Ochs' pay in 2015 as his organization was not a part of Blucora at that time. Most of that was $2.2 million in option awards. Ochs was also paid from $6.4 million for part of his Vest shares via a promissory note. Last year, Blucora paid $3.2 million in principal and $160,000 in interest on that note.

The former president of Monoprice, Bernard Luthi, received nearly $1.1 million in compensation, primarily from his severance package. The same was true of former InfoSpace president, Peter Mansour, who also received almost $1.1 million for 2016.

Because of the headquarters relocation, Blucora expects two other executives will leave the company. These include CFO Eric Emans, whose 2016 compensation was $2.1 million. Also to exit is chief legal and administrative officer, Brad Finkelstein, who was paid almost $1.3 million. The majority of the amounts for both men came from option and stock grants.

Chief marketing officer, Mathieu F. Stevenson, who joined the company in October, took away $1.1 million with $733,340 in option awards and $329,999 in stock awards. Robert Oros, who replaced Ochs at Vest, and Sanjay Baskaran, who became president of TaxAct in January, will have their regular compensation reported next year, but levels were given for the their hiring.

Oros was hired at a base salary of $375,000. He was granted restricted stock units worth $450,000 and $1,050,000 in a nonqualified stock option that vests in stages through Feb. 28, 2020. Oros was also provided up to $525,000 reimbursement for relocation, commuting and related expenses and up to $250,000 in unpaid bonuses and compensation forfeited when he left his prior employer.

Baskaran started with a base salary of $350,000, a grant of $750,000 in restricted stock units and a signing bonus of $210,000. He was to receive $150,000, up to $70,000 for costs involved in the sale of his current home and purchase of a new one and up to $30,000 for packing and relocating personal possessions to the Dallas, Texas, area.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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