Flowers Foods Chief Executive George Deese and other top executives took big pay cuts last year as the Thomasville bread and snack baker dropped stock options from their compensation plans.
In February, Flowers announced that the 67-year-old chairman and CEO will give up his chief executive role to Allen Shriver, the company’s 57-year-old president.
Deese’s 2012 compensation of $3.3 million was 28 percent lower than the previous year’s total of almost $4.6 million, while Shriver’s 2012 pay package fell 15 percent, to $1.5 million.
The look at Deese’s and Shriver’s compensation is part of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis of the pay of Georgia’s top executives over coming weeks. Executive pay has gained increased attention from investors and lawmakers in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and Great Recession. Congress passed legislation in 2010 to give shareholders more say on executive pay.
The top executives’ pay also faced a drag last year because Flowers Foods fell short of certain profit targets that would have triggered larger bonuses.
Deese’s pay included $1.8 million in salary and bonus, $1.3 million in company stock, and $211,974 in pension and retirement savings benefits.
Flowers Foods said it eliminated executive stock options last year — which had totaled $1.7 million for Deese in 2011 — and tied more of executives’ stock awards to the company’s financial performance.
The company, which is buying most of Hostess Brands’ bread business, saw 10 percent growth in both sales and net income last year, to $3 billion and $136 million, respectively.
AJC reporter Russell Grantham is tracking what Georgia’s major public companies pay their top executives. Look for periodic news and trend stories in the weeks ahead, as well as up-to-date statistics, as Grantham pores through this year’s corporate proxy statements.