March 31, 2009

Kraft CEO's Pay Increase

Kraft CEO's pay rose 38% to $16 million
The chief executive of Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT), parent company of Oscar Mayer in Madison, received compensation worth $16 million in 2008, an increase of 38% from the prior year, according to calculations of data filed with regulators Tuesday.Irene Rosenfeld, 55, received a base salary of about $1.5 million in 2008, an increase of 5.6% from the previous year, according to the company's report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bulk of her compensation came in an increase in stock options and restricted stock, much of which has lost value as the company's stock has declined in recent months.According to the filings, the Northfield, Ill.-based company's board approved raising Rosenfeld's salary in 2008 to bring it in line with other, similar companies. But the food maker said it would not raise the base salary for Rosenfeld, or any other executive, in fiscal 2009.Rosenfeld received a performance-based bonus of nearly $4.1 million last year, a 55% increase from the $2.6 million she received the prior year. The company said in its filings that she was awarded the bonus for achieving key financial targets, meeting guidance and analyst expectations and providing new product offerings that focused on growth categories with fewer, but larger, product launches.Rosenfeld's other compensation, which includes perquisites, fell more than 60% from the previous year, to $153,868. The figure includes $20,858 for personal use of the company's aircraft, car expenses worth more than $14,000 and relocation expenses worth nearly $40,000.The bulk of Rosenfeld's pay came in an increase in stock options and restricted stock. She was awarded options and stock worth about $10.3 million on the day they were granted, 43% above the $7.2 million she received in stock options and restricted stock the prior year.So what?What's the point of this AP article?Are we supposed to become an angry mob, get out the torches and pitchforks, and demand that Rosenfeld give back her 2008 raise?Are we supposed to be outraged that Rosenfeld makes more than Obama's magic $500,000 executive compensation cap?Rosenfeld is receiving no pay increase for 2009.
Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N) will freeze the salaries of Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld and 18 other top managers in 2009, though remaining employees will receive raises, Rosenfeld told employees on Tuesday.The decision to freeze the salaries of Rosenfeld, her executive team, regional and business unit presidents, and some other top managers, was announced as Rosenfeld asked employees to be prudent with spending during a time of economic turmoil."I did feel it was important to set the appropriate tone at the top with the extended leadership team," Rosenfeld told Reuters following the meeting.But she also wanted to assure Kraft's roughly 100,000 employees that almost all would receive raises following a year when the company posted an 18.5 percent rise in earnings per share and a 4.4 percent increase in revenue before acquisitions, divestitures and the impact of the stronger dollar."I'm quite proud of the fact that we are giving everybody increases consistent with the terrific performance that they turned in," Rosenfeld said.Giving pay increases consistent with terrific performances?Now there's a concept.It's soon to be extinct if Barack Obama has his way.

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