When Coke (NYSE:KO) issued its proxy statement at the end of last week, the big news was that CEO Muhtar Kent had “respectfully requested forgoing any annual incentive award for 2014.” . . . But Kent’s pay was widely reported as holding steady, despite the forgone bonus.
Coca-Cola’s challenge goes beyond revising its controversial equity compensation plan. The beverage giant’s retreat from the scheme is a win for Warren Buffett, investor David Winters and the company’s other shareholders. But the quibbles with Coke don’t end with excessive remuneration.
The Coca-Cola Co. equity compensation plan for executives won the approval of 83% of the shares voted at its recent annual meeting, but left the company with an ambiguous mandate. Some major institutional investors that supported the plan might have reconsidered had they known other pension funds opposed it and known Warren Buffet thought the plan was “quite excessive.”
- Bloomberg, “Coca-Cola Cuts CEO Kent’s Pay After Revamping Equity Program”
- The Wall Street Journal, “What Is Coke CEO’s Solution for Lost Fizz? More Soda,” By Mike Esterl
- Seeking Alpha, “CEO Pay At Coca-Cola: Up Or Down?” By Paul Hodgson
- David Winters discusses Coca-Cola’s secret “bonus shares” with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business
- Benefit of Coca-Cola’s Equity Compensation Guidelines Enacted After Public Pressure from Wintergreen Advisers: $6.6 billion to $21 billion
- Wintergreen Advisers Comments on Shareholder Opposition to Coca-Cola’s Executive Pay
- Wintergreen Advisers Cites Changes in Coca-Cola Proxy, But Big Issues Remain
- Wintergreen Advisers Poses Questions for Coca-Cola