Art Peck

Art Peck has pushed hard for transformation at Gap Inc., which showed signs of strength in the fourth quarter, and was rewarded handsomely for his efforts.

The chief executive officer’s total compensation rose to $8.9 million last year, an increase of 45 percent from 2015.

Peck’s pay consisted of a $1.3 million salary, incentive pay of $917,511, other compensation of $88,572 and stock and option awards valued at more than $6.5 million (although the full value of those awards might never be realized given stock-price fluctuations). Included in that pay were perks, including $19,523 for airplane usage.

Last year, Gap’s net profits dropped 27 percent to $676 million as sales slipped 1.8 percent to $15.52 billion. But fourth-quarter profits rose 2.8 percent to $220 million as sales inched up 1 percent to $4.43 billion.

In February, Peck told Wall Street analysts that Gap is operating in a difficult retail market, but has the advantage of scale.

“Fundamentally there is a significant market share opportunity,” Peck said. “To read the headlines today you’ll see the words ‘dead, dying.’ We are none of those. We are healthy and strong and have a plan and clear direction, but we can all pick our favorite company that’s no longer in business. When the lights go off and when the windows get boarded over, that is market share that is made available to the rest of the industry. She’s not stopping shopping. She’s shopping someplace else. A time of disruption means that market share becomes more fluid. If we put what we believe are our structural advantages together along with much of the work that we’ve been doing on product and experience, we believe we have a significant opportunity to consolidate and gain market share going forward.”

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