James Quincey became Coca-Cola chief executive in May 2017, replacing long-time CEO Muhtar Kent. Last year, Quincey’s total compensation was $16.7 million, according to the company. (BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM)
Photo: Bob Andres/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Bob Andres/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coca-Cola CEO Quincey’s 2018 total pay package topped $16 million

Coca-Cola Chief Executive James Quincey received $16.7 million in total compensation in 2018, a 58% increase from the year before, the beverage giant reported Thursday.

Quincey had a base salary of $1.45 million, plus stock awards valued at $7.4 million, stock option awards worth $2.2 million, non-stock incentive payments of $5 million and other compensation worth about $568,000.

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Quincey, 54, was president and chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based company before becoming CEO in May 2017. He replaced Muhtar Kent, who retained his role as chairman of the board. Kent last year received a total compensation package of $9.8 million, down from $14.8 million in 2017.

Quincey received $10.6 million in total compensation in 2017, including $1.2 million in salary.

Kent plans to retire from the board of directors after the company’s annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled for April 24.

Coke’s board has proposed making Quincey chairman at that meeting, subject to shareholder approval.

However, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a small Coke shareholder, has lodged a counter-proposal calling for an “independent” chairman – that is, a person with no significant relationship to the company.

A parking attendant helps a guest at the Coca-Cola headquarters main entrance in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A separate proposal by another shareholder calls for the company to issue a report on its products that contain sugar. That proposal also calls for the report to assess how “changing scientific understanding of the role of sugar in disease causation” could hurt the company’s finances or reputation.

Coke’s board opposes that resolution. It says the Access to Nutrition Foundation, an independent nonprofit, already produces reports about Coke that address sugar and public health.

Other major publicly traded companies in Atlanta such as Home Depot, UPS and Delta Air Lines haven’t disclosed 2018 executive compensation yet.

Mr. Quincey’s 2018 compensation package, while large, isn’t in danger of breaking any local records. Frank Bisignano, CEO of Atlanta-based First Data, received total compensation valued at $102.2 million in 2017, including $92.7 million from an equity retention award.

Coke and other publicly traded companies disclose executive compensation in their annual proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of their annual shareholder meetings.

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