Area execs’ compensation tops at $8 million

Top executives of publicly traded companies based in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado received annual compensation packages in 2013 that ranged from a half-million dollars at the low end to a little more than $8 million for the top earner.

Jeffrey K. Storey, chief executive and president of Broomfield-based Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), received a compensation package of a little more than $8 million to top BizWest’s list of highest-paid executives of publicly traded companies in a four-county region of Colorado. The list is based on data compiled by BizWest’s research department from Securities and Exchange Commission documents.

Gregg L. Engles, CEO of Broomfield-based WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE:WWAV), and John A. Hayes, CEO of Broomfield-based Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL), received the largest base salaries at about $1.2 million each, and ranked second and third on the list, respectively.

WhiteWave Foods, a producer of food and beverages, posted revenue of $2.5 billion in 2013, and Ball Corp., a manufacturer of cans, jars, bottles and packages, had revenue of $8.5 billion.

Compensation packages include base salaries, bonuses, stock awards, stock options, nonequity incentive-plan compensations and a category the SEC calls “other” compensation.

Storey took the helm at the international telecommunications company in 2013, replacing longtime Level 3 leader James Crow. Storey received a base salary of $857,692 but received a bonus of nearly $2 million, stock awards of $2.1 million, option awards of about $2 million and incentives of a little more than $1 million.

Storey oversees Level 3’s operations in more than 500 global markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia, and a total of 100,000 miles of fiber-optic networks.

Level 3 posted annual revenue of $6.3 billion in 2013 and a net loss of $109 million, but for the fourth quarter of 2013, Level 3 reported its first quarterly profit since the end of 2008.

Seven of the top 10 CEOs on the list did not receive bonuses in 2013, according to SEC documents. Level 3 rewarded Storey with the largest bonus at $1.9 million.

While base salaries, bonuses and nonequity incentive plan compensations are money in the bank, stock awards and stock options are on paper. The value of awards and options are tied to the value of a company’s stock.

With a stock award, companies give stock to an employee. A stock option carries with it the opportunity for profits if the stock price increases, but it also carries the danger of options becoming worthless if the stock price decreases. Also, money must be spent to use the option to buy stocks. A nonequity incentive plan compensation is cash, and the amount is based on a company’s return on net asset performance.

While Storey and Hayes were the highest-paid executives in Broomfield and Boulder counties, respectively, Thomas A. Gendron, CEO of Woodward Inc. in Fort Collins, was the highest paid in Larimer County. Eric Ridenour, CEO at UQM Technologies Inc., which has a plant east of Longmont, was the highest-paid in Weld County.

Gendron received the third-highest base salary at $1 million and a total compensation package of $4.3 million, placing him No. 7 on the list.

Woodward (Nasdaq: WWD) designs, manufactures and services control systems for the aerospace and energy markets in 14 countries. It generated $1.9 billion in revenue and net income of $145.9 million in 2013.

Ridenour oversees UQM’s (NYSE: UQM) manufacturing plant that makes electric motors. He received a base salary of $434,625 and a total compensation package of $1.2 million, ranking him No. 14 on the list.

UQM posted revenue of $7.1 million and recorded a loss of $10.7 million in 2013.

Synergy Resources Corp. (NYSE: SYRG) in Platteville has a management setup that includes co-CEOs, who have additional executive responsibilities. William E. Scaff Jr. serves as co-CEO as well as treasurer and director, and Ed Holloway serves as co-CEO and president. Scaff and Holloway each received base salaries of $330,000 and total compensation packages of $540,000 in 2013, ranking them tied for No. 18.

The oil and gas company operates 289 wells, primarily in the Greater Wattenberg Field in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in northeast Colorado, and has an ownership interest in 376 producing wells. It generated $46.2 million in revenue and $9.6 million in net income in 2013.

Doug Storum can be reached at 303-630-1959 or dstorum@bcbr.com.

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