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Coca-Cola CEO pay falls because performance-based bonus took a hit

By Candice Choi

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 7 2014 11:16 a.m. MST

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent's pay fell 16 percent last year because his performance-based bonus took a hit.

Thibault Camus, Associated Press

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NEW YORK — Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent's pay fell 16 percent last year because his performance-based bonus took a hit.

Muhtar Kent's package was worth $18.2 million for 2013, according to a regulatory filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. That's down from the $21.6 million he earned in the previous year.

The decline was primarily the result of a lower performance-based bonus, which fell to $2.2 million, from $6 million the previous year. That portion of his pay is tied to financial metrics such as sales volume, which rose just 2 percent for the year. The previous year, the figure had increased 4 percent, in line with the company's long-term targets.

A new cap for that portion of Kent's pay was also triggered this year because Coca-Cola's total shareholder return fell below the median of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500.

Executives at the Atlanta-based company, whose products include Sprite, Fanta and Vitaminwater, have cited weak economic conditions around the world for the year's underwhelming results. Back at home, Coca-Cola is also struggling to boost sales in its flagship soda business as people turn to the growing number of alternatives in the beverage aisle.

Still, Kent has expressed confidence in the company's ability to "restore momentum" to its business in the year ahead. The 61-year-old has been CEO since the summer of 2008, after working in numerous executive positions around the world for the world's biggest beverage maker. He has been chairman since 2009.

The rest of Kent's pay package for 2013 was rounded out by a base salary of $1.6 million, and stock and options worth $13.5 million. Other compensation of $861,912 included services such as use the company plane, a car and driver, and security.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year.

The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value assigned to an executive's stock and option awards was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth over time. But the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives depends on the performance of the company's stock.

Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi

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