Coca-Cola CEO's take-home pay up, total compensation down

Coca-Cola Co.'s top executive saw his take-home pay jump nearly 16 percent to $7.36 million last year, according to the Atlanta-based company.

But chairman and chief executive Muhtar Kent's total compensation fell to $14.8 million from $19.6 million a year ago because of a drop in stock-based awards. The AJC calculates total compensation based on salary, bonus, non-equity incentive programs, estimated value of stock and options granted in the year, and other perks.

Kent received stock options with a future estimated value of $7.43 million. Last year he got $13.3 million in stock-based awards.

Kent's base salary was $1.2 million in 2009, according to an annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That was unchanged from when Kent was named CEO in July 2008. Coca-Cola said no top-level executives received base salary increases in 2009.

However, Kent's base pay for the full year rose 9 percent from 2008 because of his promotion from chief operating officer to CEO.

Kent's non-equity incentive compensation -- essentially a bonus -- rose 22 percent to $5.5 million from an aggregate value of $4.5 million a year before. Coca-Cola said 2009 incentives were based on growth in growth in adjusted earnings per share and volume.

In 2009, Coca-Cola's reported earnings per share rose 18 percent to $2.93. But "comparable" earnings per share, reflecting a negative currency fluctuation, fell 3 percent. Across the world, unit case volume grew 3 percent in 2009, driven by solid expansion in international markets.

Kent's "all other compensation," including thrift plan contributions, aircraft usage, security and car and driver, was about $660,000 in 2009. The year before, it was about $748,000.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world's biggest bottler of Coke beverages, said CEO John Brock earned a salary of $1.15 million, stock and option awards valued at $9.5 million, non-equity incentives of $3.5 million and various items valued at $125,000, half of which was for personal use of company aircraft. According to the AJC's calculations, Brock's total compensation for 2009 was $14.3 million.

Coke recently announced it plans to buy CCE's North American operations, leaving Atlanta-based CCE as a smaller company focused on Europe.