This story first appeared in the April 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Limited Brands Inc. chief executive officer Leslie Wexner nearly doubled his pay package in 2010 as the company registered an 80 percent increase in earnings and double-digit growth in same-store sales.
According to the definitive proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Wexner, founder, chairman and ceo of the Columbus, Ohio-based operator of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, pulled in total compensation of $20.5 million last year, 89.5 percent above the $10.8 million he earned in 2009.
Disclosure of Wexner’s earnings came on the same day that shares of his firm hit a new all-time high of $37.99. They ended the day at $37.45, up 28 cents, or 0.8 percent, as the S&P Retail Index rose 0.1 percent to 526.77 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added less than 0.1 percent to end the day at 12,381.11.
While his salary was unchanged at $1.9 million, Wexner’s cash bonus — classified as nonequity incentive plan compensation — grew 28.7 percent to $6.3 million from $4.9 million, and the sum of his stock and option awards nearly quintupled to $11.6 million from $2.4 million. Because of fluctuating stock prices and vesting schedules, these awards aren’t necessarily realized in the year they’re recorded, but companies are required to include them in the compensation tables submitted with proxies.
Limited Brands also reported $324,000 in change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation for Wexner, down 16.6 percent from 2009. Other compensation declined 74.5 percent to $312,000 from $1.2 million in 2009. The earlier figure included $930,000 in security services paid by the company; the costs for security services in 2010 weren’t included as part of Wexner’s compensation or elsewhere in the proxy.
Limited did say that security costs unrelated to business were reimbursed to the company by Wexner, as were any costs related to personal use of the corporate aircraft.
Sharen Turney, executive vice president of the company and president and ceo of the Victoria’s Secret brand, earned $7.1 million in 2010, down 7.5 percent from $7.6 million in 2009, when she received a $1.9 million cash payment in connection with a guaranteed minimum gain on options awarded under her initial employment offer in 2000.
Included in Turney’s pay last year was a nonequity bonus of $3,998,400, just $1,600 below the $4 million maximum to which she was eligible, based on Victoria’s Secret’s operating income.
Driven by Victoria’s Secrets’ results, Limited’s net income rose 79.7 percent to $804.8 million, while sales rose 11.4 percent to $9.61 billion and same-store sales expanded 11.4 percent. Its annual meeting is scheduled for May 26 at its headquarters.