Altria Group CEO Szymanczyk made $20.7M in '10

AP News
Posted: Apr 08, 2011 12:40 PM
Altria Group CEO Szymanczyk made $20.7M in '10

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. gave its CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk a pay package worth more than $20.7 million for fiscal 2010, more than double that of 2009, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing the company made Friday.

The pay package came in a year when the Richmond-based owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, saw its net income rise nearly 22 percent to $3.9 billion. Net revenue excluding excise taxes grew less than 1 percent to $16.89 billion as it sold 5.3 percent fewer cigarettes.

Most of the increase in Szymanczyk's compensation was the payout of a long-term performance-based bonus of $10.7 million that ran from 2008 to 2010. His salary rose slightly to $1.3 million, and he received $3.2 million for an annual performance-based bonus. The value of his stock awards rose 18 percent to $4.9 million.

The 62-year-old Szymanczyk, who has served as chairman and CEO since March 2008, also was given other compensation worth $495,910. That included $300,000 for the personal use of the company's aircraft and $195,000 the company put into a defined-contribution retirement plan.

He previously served as chairman and CEO of Philip Morris USA from August 2002 through July 2008 before the company spun off Philip Morris International Inc.

His total 2009 compensation was valued at nearly $9 million.

Altria announced it will hold its annual meeting May 19 in Richmond, where shareholders will elect nine directors to its board and vote on a shareholder proposal that the company stop making and marketing tobacco products with characterizing flavors.

In addition to Philip Morris USA, Altria owns U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., maker of brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal, and Black & Mild cigar maker John Middleton Co. The company also owns a wine business and holds a voting stake in brewer SABMiller.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's 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.