Maurice Marciano, chairman of Guess Inc., chose to work without a salary last year, but managed to double the cash portion of his compensation on performance-based bonus payments.

This story first appeared in the May 26, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Marciano’s total compensation was $5.6 million, 38 percent less than the $9.1 million reported for 2008, according to the company’s definitive proxy statement filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stripping out the noncash portion of this amount, including stock awards and change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation, his cash payments rose to $2.7 million from $1.3 million.

Although his $1 million salary in 2008 was replaced by $49,000 to cover tax withholding amounts for noncash items, Marciano’s nonequity incentive plan compensation was $2.25 million compared with zero in the previous year. Other items, including $312,000 for home security, rose 18 percent to $384,000 from $326,000.

Guess’s proxy said Marciano waived his salary “in light of the economic downturn and to reinforce his firm commitment to reducing company expenses.”

Although the cash amounts of his pay package grew, the long-term elements declined. The sum of Marciano’s stock and option awards dropped 55.2 percent to $1.6 million from $3.6 million, and the change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation fell by more than two-thirds, to $1.3 million from $4.2 million. Because of vesting schedules and fluctuating stock prices, stock and option awards aren’t necessarily realized by the executive, but the SEC requires that their fair value be reported in a company’s proxy statement.

Compensation for Paul Marciano, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Guess, declined 4.2 percent to $9.8 million from $10.2 million, with the cash portion of his pay slightly more than doubling to $5.9 million from $2.9 million. His salary was unchanged at $1 million and the sum of his stock and option awards essentially flat at $1.4 million, but his nonequity bonus climbed 165.6 percent to $4.8 million from $1.8 million.

The ceo’s nonequity bonus included $1.8 million tied to the firm’s licensing income.

Maurice and Paul Marciano are listed in the proxy as the owners of 16.9 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, of the 93.3 million shares of Guess stock outstanding as of May 6.

The compensation of Carlos Alberini, who this month resigned as Guess’ president and chief operating officer to become co-ceo of Restoration Hardware Inc., was $3 million, up 0.1 percent, with increases in his nonequity bonus offsetting a decline in his stock and option awards.

In the year ended Jan. 30, the Los Angeles-based firm’s net income grew 14.6 percent to $246.3 million as revenues came in 1.7 percent ahead at $2.13 billion.

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