Coca-Cola boosted Chief Executive Muhtar Kent’s pay by 20 percent last year, to almost $17.6 million, as he prepared to hand over the reins to the Atlanta company in about seven weeks.
The incoming CEO, James Quincey, saw his pay jump by 27 percent last year, to $8.7 million, after he was promoted in 2015 to Coke’s president and chief operating officer.
He is expected to take over as CEO on May 1, while Kent will remain as chairman of Coca-Cola’s board of directors.
The executives snagged big raises even though Coca-Cola’s profit fell 11 percent last year, to $6.5 billion, as the company sold off part of its bottling operations and continued to face softening demand for soft drinks.
But in a proxy statement filed Thursday, Coca-Cola said the executives were rewarded for progress on re-tooling the company’s product mix and bottling operations, and improving productivity, among other things.
Both executives received most of their pay last year, as most top brass at public companies do, as stock-based compensation.
Kent’s 2016 pay included a $1.6 million salary, $9.5 million in stock-based pay, a $4.1 million bonus, and $792,414 in perks such as personal use of company aircraft.
Quincey’s pay included a $923,625 salary, $5.3 million in stock-based pay, a $2 million bonus and $96,448 in perks.
Kent’s compensation total also included a $1.5 million increase in the value of his pension benefits, while Quincey’s total included $321,839.