Dennis Eck, formers CEO of retail giant Coles Myer, has left the firm with a bursting goody bag despite watching profits crumble while the group was under his wing.

An early termination fee worth A$4.9m (US$2.45m) was provided on top of his A$3.65m salary for the 2000-01 year. He also walks away with an extensive shares portfolio and a five-year consultancy deal with the retailer.

The apparent generosity of the Coles Myer group has surprised its 581,000 stockholders. Eck had his contract terminated before time, when the company posted a heavy fall in the profits at its Myer-Grace Bros and Target chains. The retailer’s credit rating has meanwhile slipped from A minus to BBB plus.

The Australian retail sector is no stranger to substantial payouts for its departing executives however. Eric Dodd’s departure form NRMA enabled him to pick up a cheque worth A$3m. George Trumbull, former CEO of AMP, was meanwhile sent on his way back to the US with A$13.2m in 1999.

Coles’ new CEO, Warren Flick, has meanwhile secured a share package worth A$5.37m.