By and  on July 6, 2009

Ralph Lauren’s official compensation as chairman and chief executive officer of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. dropped more than 40 percent during the 2009 fiscal year, despite a 25 percent raise in his base pay.

Lauren’s total compensation in the fiscal year ended March 28 came to $20.3 million, down 40.6 percent from $34.2 million in fiscal 2008. While his salary increased to $1.25 million from $1 million in the prior year under terms of his new employment contract, effective March 30, 2008, the sum of his stock and option awards fell 77 percent to $4.8 million from $20.7 million. In fiscal 2008, his stock awards, totaling $16.2 million versus $5.5 million in 2007 and $610,000 last year, mushroomed as the company accelerated expense recognition based on the end of his previous contract.

Details on Lauren’s pay package were released in a regulatory proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stock and option awards are reported based on SEC accounting guidelines. The amounts provided in these categories weren’t necessarily realized because of vesting schedules and fluctuating share prices.

Lauren’s nonequity incentive plan compensation rose to $13.9 million from $12 million in 2008. All other compensation declined to $400,817 from $452,643, with the majority of last year’s amount attributable to $271,543 in reimbursement for personal travel.

Total compensation for Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer of Polo, declined 10.3 percent to $14.1 million, while executive vice president Jackwyn Nemerov’s rose 1.5 percent to $5.4 million. Both received base salaries of $900,000, unchanged from the prior year.

Meanwhile, Polo said Hubert Joly, president and ceo of Carlson Cos. Inc., aMinneapolis-based hospitality and marketing firm, had joined its board, bringing the number of directors back up to 11, and provided the final results of its recent debt tender offer.

Joly fills the vacancy created in May, when Judith McHale resigned from Polo’s board after her confirmation as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the State Department in President Obama’s administration.

Polo said it had repurchased and canceled 90.8 million euros, or $127.9 million at current exchange, of its 4.5 percent notes due in 2013. The tender offer allowed for the purchase of up to 100 million euros of the 300 million euros in notes outstanding.

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