By and  on May 18, 2010

Julian Geiger’s final year as chief executive officer of Aéropostale Inc. paid off handsomely.

Geiger, who retired as ceo at the end of the fiscal year but continues as chairman of the teen specialty retailer, pulled in reported compensation of $13.5 million last year, 87.2 percent above the $7.2 million reported for fiscal 2008. The majority of his pay came from $8.2 million in other compensation paid in cash to replace annual equity awards and increases in retirement benefits.

Geiger’s salary and nonequity bonus were unchanged at $1 million and $3 million, respectively, and, as in 2008, he received no stock or option awards. The change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings fell 60 percent to $1.3 million from $3.2 million. Excluding that accounting item, his pay more than tripled to $12.2 million from $4 million.

Mindy Meads and Thomas Johnson, who now serve as Aéropostale’s co-ceo’s, earned $4.8 million and $4.1 million, respectively, 2.5 percent and 69.2 percent higher than the previous year.

The New York-based retailer’s net income grew 53.6 percent to $229.5 million last year as sales advanced 18.3 percent to $2.23 billion.

At Coldwater Creek Inc., which saw losses double last year, former president and ceo David Griesemer’s compensation dropped 41.7 percent in 2009 to $1.4 million from $2.4 million. He resigned in September and was succeeded as ceo by Dennis Pence, who remained chairman. Pence, co-founder of Coldwater Creek with two previous stints as its ceo, earned $1 last year, in compliance with his own request, according to the firm’s proxy.

Griesemer’s salary last year dropped 39.6 percent to $437,865, from $725,000. He earned $594,605 in stock and option awards, a 57.8 percent decline from 2008’s awards, which were valued at $1.4 million.

Pence, who is listed as the owner of 14.3 percent of the company’s shares in the proxy, ceased receiving retirement benefits from the firm when he returned to the ceo post, the proxy said.

The total compensation of Georgia Shonk Simmons, Coldwater’s president and chief merchandising officer, dropped 29.4 percent last year to $1.2 million from $1.7 million. Her salary slid 15 percent to $510,000, from $600,000, while her stock and options declined 58 percent to $375,540, from $893,400 a year earlier.

Coldwater’s net loss tallied $56.1 million last year as sales ticked up 1.4 percent to $1.04 billion.

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