EW YORK – McDonald’s trimmed its CEO’s pay package by 10% to $8.8 million last year as the world’s biggest hamburger chain continued to post sales gains amid economic uncertainty and rising costs around the globe.
Meantime, Coca-Cola (KO) gave its CEO a pay package worth $21.2 million last year, up 10% from the previous year, as the world’s biggest soda maker sold more of its drinks and expanded overseas.
The raise for Muhtar Kent was largely the result of his stock and option awards, which rose to $13.1 million from $10.8 million. His base salary also rose, to $1.35 million from $1.2 million in 2010.
His performance-based cash bonus fell to $6 million, however, down from $6.5 million. The bonus is based on whether executives reach predetermined goals set by the company. Other perks and compensation — including use of the company’s aircraft and contributions to retirement savings — rose 3% to $757,000.
The drop was the result of Skinner’s performance-based cash bonus, which fell to $3.3 million, down 27% from $4.5 million. McDonald’s determines bonuses as a percentage of the executive’s salary.
The exact percentage varies depending on a mix of metrics, including the corporate and individual performance metrics. Skinner’s bonus fell last year as a result of a lower overall corporate metric.
In addition to annual bonuses, McDonald’s also gives its executives a long-term bonus once every three years; Skinner received an $8.3 million long-term bonus in 2009 and is due for another this year.
Skinner’s salary of $1.47 million in 2011 was up slightly from $1.43 million the previous year. He also received stock and options worth $3.23 million, up from $3.17 million.
The value of Skinner’s other perks — including personal use of the company aircraft, physical exams and security — also rose 19% to $752,000.
McDonald’s, which serves as a bellwether for the fast-food industry, posted strong results through the recession by attracting cash-strapped customers with low prices and limited-time specials. It has continued the run of sales increases as the economy has recovered.
The company has also put an emphasis on remodeling restaurants and introducing new menu items like Chicken McBites, smoothies and lattes. Its stock price increased steadily last year and is up 33% from a year ago. But the company is nevertheless facing rising costs for ingredients and labor, as well as persistent economic volatility in some of its key regions.
On Thursday, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company cited such challenges when it reported that a key revenue figure fell short of Wall Street expectations for February. The results were dragged down by a weak performance in Europe, which is McDonald’s biggest market and accounts for 40% of its revenue, and the region that encompasses Asia, theMiddle East and Africa.
As for Coca-Cola, Kent, 59, has served as Coca-Cola’s top executive since 2008. The Atlanta-based company, which has more than 500 brands including Fanta, Sprite, Dasani and Minute Maid, weathered the recession largely by spending more on advertising, new products and plants.
Like many other U.S. companies, Coca-Cola has also looked overseas for growth, particularly in emerging markets like India and China. In North America, the company has been raising prices and offering smaller package sizes.
For fiscal 2011, Coca Cola said its global volume grew 5%, helped by strength in emerging markets such as Latin America. Its revenue rose 33% to $46.54 billion. Shares of Coca-Cola are up almost 6% from a year ago.
The AP formula for executive pay calculates the total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The value that a company assigned to an executive’s stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time.
Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company’s stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.