Mondelez shareholders reject exec pay – Consumer News

on May17

16 May 2018 | 8:53 pm

Mondelez shareholders rejected a proposal related to executive pay at the company’s annual meeting today—a rare occurrence in the world of public companies.

Shareholders of the company, who met this morning at a corporate event venue in Lincolnshire, did not approve the company’s compensation of its named executive officers by roughly a 5-to-4 margin. Fifty-five percent of shareholders voted against the company’s 2017 compensation plan, which included a nearly $60 million pay package to two CEOs.

The vote was on an advisory basis, meaning it is nonbinding.

Irene Rosenfeld, who stepped down in November after five years running the Deerfield-based snackmaker, stood to take home $17.4 million in 2017. Her successor, Dirk Van de Put, earned $42.4 million. Some $38 million of that was a so-called “make whole” package reflecting pay he would have received had he remained with his previous employer, McCain Foods, a privately held maker of frozen French fries that runs its U.S. operations from suburban Lisle.

According to Mondelez’s proxy, the company decided to pay 74 percent of that package, or more than $28 million, in equity, “a sizable portion” of which would only be paid if performance goals were met. Just under $10 million would be in cash.

Rosenfeld’s 2017 pay consisted of a $1.6 million base salary, $8.2 million in stock awards, $2.7 million in option awards, a $2.3 million “incentive award,” just under $2 million in retirement benefits and more than $555,000 in “other compensation,” which includes personal use of company aircraft and a car allowance.

Van de Put’s 2017 earnings included a base salary of just under $163,000 for the one month he was employed, a $10 million cash bonus, $30 million in stock awards, $975,000 in stock options, a $1 million incentive-plan payout and $268,000 in other compensation.

Other named officers earned packages that were significantly larger than last year’s. Mondelez CFO Brian Gladden’s total compensation was more than $11.6 million in 2017, versus $6.4 million in 2016. Timothy Cofer, the company’s chief growth officer, took home $10.6 million, versus just over $7 million last year. Mondelez’s general counsel, Gerhard Pleuhs, earned $3.3 million in total 2017 compensation, while Hubert Weber, president of the company’s Europe division, earned more than $3.7 million.

At the same time, Mondelez’s stock dropped 3.45 percent in 2017 as the S&P 500 consumer staples index rose 10.46 percent.

“We believe our compensation philosophy is aligned with shareholders’ long-term interests,” a Mondelez spokesman said via email. “Our compensation programs are designed to attract, retain and motivate talented executive officers and develop world-class leaders.” He went on to say that the company links pay to performance to “promote superior long-term shareholder returns.”

The board will review the results of the vote and consider investors’ feedback, the spokesman continued.


Joe Cahill: Oreo maker sure double-stuffed these paychecks

Crain’s editorial: How Mondelez robbed its shareholders

Shareholders rarely vote down executive pay, though they’ve done it several times in 2018. Last month, some 75 percent of Ameriprise Financial shareholders said “no” to CEO James Cracchiolo’s $60.5 million compensation in 2017, up from $15.1 million the year before, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

In March, Walt Disney shareholders pushed back against CEO Bob Iger’s compensation plan, which could have been worth $48.5 million a year over four years, plus a grant worth about $100 million, per Reuters.

They earned the right to do so under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which gave shareholders the opportunity to weigh in when compensation plans don’t align with their interests.

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