BONUSES BLOOM FOR TOP MILL EXECS
Byline: Thomas J. Ryan
NEW YORK — For the first time since 1992, the bonus gravy flowed for many chief executives at textile mills in 1997.
Excluding a huge restricted stock grant by Guilford Mills’ Charles A. Hayes, the average compensation for each head of 11 mills — including one fiber company — jumped 20.2 percent, to $938,895 from $781,454.
That compares with a pay cut of 7.7 percent the group received in 1996 and gains of 6.8 percent in 1995, 2.1 percent in 1994 and 7.5 percent in 1993.
The fatter paychecks generally reflect healthier earnings for a group that has weathered years of domestic downsizing.
Many mills realized the benefits of modernization, a healthier retail climate, strength in home furnishings, better raw material pricing and some benefits from NAFTA.
The heads of Galey & Lord, Dan River, Cone Mills, Wellman, Dixie Yarns and Dyersburg received pay raises of more than 25 percent.
Hayes, Guilford’s longtime chief executive officer, was the big winner; his overall compensation vaulted 215.2 percent to $3.7 million, largely due to the grant of $2.3 million worth of restricted stock awards. The awards vest over the next seven years.
Guilford’s compensation committee said large restricted stock awards were given to its top executives as “an immediate and meaningful ownership stake in the company,” to provide incentives for them to stay at Guilford.
Hayes also benefited from a more than twofold hike in his annual bonus to $656,250 from $308,188. Like many mill executives, Hayes was rewarded for a bang-up year at Guilford, where profits climbed 27.3 percent.
The stock awards also substantially boosted the compensation of other Guilford executives, including John A. Emrich, president and chief operating officer, whose total pay package was $3 million against $578,862 in 1996, and Terrence E. Geremski, executive vice president and chief financial officer, who was paid $1.45 million versus $314,256.
Joseph L. Lanier Jr., at Dan River, received a bonus of $442,410 compared with $169,650, raising his overall pay 49.3 percent to $886,420. Each of Dan River’s top five executives received cash bonuses of up to 100 percent of their salaries because earnings of the shirting fabrics and home furnishings maker last year skyrocketed 129 percent. Dan River completed a successful initial public offering in December.
Lanier also received options for 100,000 shares exercisable at $15 a share. Shares of Dan River closed at 17 7/16, down 1 1/6 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Daniel K. Frierson, at Dixie Yarns, was handed his first bonus in four years as Dixie returned to profitability. The $200,000 bonus boosted his total compensation 67.1 percent to $596,417. Frierson also received options for 80,000 shares exercisable at $13 each. Shares of Dixie Yarns closed at 10 5/8, down 1 on the over-the-counter market.
At fiber company Wellman, Thomas M. Duff received a bonus of $464,683 compared with $61,574, pushing up his overall compensation 34.7 percent to $1.36 million. Excluding onetime charges, Wellman’s earnings were up 45.3 percent.
Galey & Lord’s Arthur C. Wiener’s compensation climbed 29.4 percent to $1.04 million. His bonus rose to $377,000 from $233,780 as Galey & Lord’s net earnings were ahead 44.3 percent.
Also rewarded with bigger bonuses tied to improved earnings were Unifi’s William T. Kretzer, who earned $1.3 million against $1.08 million, and Dyersburg’s T. Eugene McBride, who earned $596,417 versus $357,000.
J. Patrick Danahy, at Cone Mills, missed his annual bonus for the last three years as the denim and print fabric maker continued in the red. However, Danahy was granted restricted stock awards worth $127,500 — representing 15,000 shares — as part of amendments to a 1992 stock plan. The grants pushed up his compensation 25.1 percent to $628,217.
George W. Henderson 3rd, at Burlington Industries, saw his bonus slip for the third year in the row, to $350,000 last year from $500,000 in 1996 and $605,000 in 1996. Burlington’s compensation committee said that although earnings in 1997 were higher than in the prior year, several of Burlington’s divisions missed goals.
Henderson’s overall compensation dipped 8.1 percent to $1.27 million, but still he was the second-highest-paid executive in WWD’s survey.
Delta Woodside’s E. Erwin Maddrey 2nd missed out on his bonus for the fourth straight year. Delta Woodside in March announced plans to shut Stevecoknit Fabrics and sell its Nautilus International exercise machine business.