WASHINGTON, March 3 The chief executive of
Coca-Cola Co (KO.N), the world's largest maker of soft drinks,
was awarded $21.65 million in compensation in 2007, a 3.6
percent increase from the prior year, according to a regulatory
filing on Monday.
Neville Isdell was awarded $1.61 million in salary, $6.65
million of nonequity incentive plan compensation, and $817,066
in "other compensation." He was not awarded any bonus.
According to the company's annual proxy, Isdell was also
granted stock and option awards worth $12.57 million as of the
grant date in February 2007.
Included in other compensation were perks such as $341,849
in aircraft usage, $80,116 for a car and driver, $117,065 for
security, and $48,169 for tax reimbursement.
Coca-Cola said its perk program provides benefits that
allow executives to efficiently perform their responsibilities
and minimize distractions.
The company said it increased Isdell's base salary by 10
percent in 2007 -- for the first since since he became CEO in
2004 -- because of his "strong performance" and because market
data was indicating higher base salaries for CEO positions.
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola's net income for 2007 increased
17.7 percent from the prior year to $5.98 billion, while net
operating revenues increased 19.8 percent to $28.86 billion.
The filing said Isdell's 2007 annual incentive award took
into account that Coca-Cola's total return to shareholders,
representing share price appreciation and dividends, was 30
percent. It also noted the company achieved 4 percent growth in
carbonated beverages and 12 percent growth in still beverages.
That growth, driven by the introduction of Coca-Cola Zero
and the acquisition of Glaceau's vitaminwater, comes at a time
when sales of traditional soft drinks are declining in the
United States, their biggest market, as people opt for drinks
like bottled water and tea, which they view as healthier.
But Coke Zero and vitaminwater helped Coke achieve 1
percent growth in North American total volume in 2007, up from
flat volume growth in 2006.
The Atlanta-based company also said Isdell made strides in
repositioning the U.S. business for growth, including the
acquisition of Glaceau brands in June, completed succession
planning for the CEO role, and continued to lead the company's
efforts in corporate social responsibility.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, editing by Dave Zimmerman)