ARCHIVED  July 1, 1997

Bonuses, stock options abound as this year’s tycoons range from railroad magnates to high-tech wonders

A railroad executive has topped The Northern Colorado Business Report’s annual ranking of the 25 highest-paid corporate officers for companies with local operations.

The list of 25 companies represents a mix of industries including railroads, breweries, telecommunications businesses, computer manufacturers, retailers and others.

Besides salaries often stretching into six zeros and beyond, almost all the executives received huge bonuses — sometimes larger than their annual salaries. Many received other forms of compensation, as well as stock options in the companies.

At the very top was Drew Lewis, chief executive officer of the the railroad company Union Pacific Corp. His total compensation for 1996 amounted to $17.4 million. That marked a 17 percent increase in his salary and bonus from the previous year.

While Lewis’ salary amounted to $1 million in 1996, he also received a $2 million bonus for the year and $14.3 million worth of stock from the company.

His bonus also outweighed his salary the previous year. In 1995, he received a $1.65 million bonus, along with his salary of $910,000.

Union Pacific’s net income for 1996 totaled $904 million, or $4.14 per share, down from $946 million, or $4.60 per share in 1995.

But the railroad company reported from continuing operations increasing to $733 million, compared with $619 million the previous year.

The company attributed its strong financial performance from continuing operations to the railroad’s base volume growth and the effect of recent acquisitions.

In the first quarter of this year, Union Pacific’s net income rose 64 percent to $128 million, or 52 cents per share. In the same quarter last year, the railroad earned $78 million, or 32 cents per share.

“We have remained focused on the implementation of our Southern Pacific merger, and the

process is moving forward carefully and on schedule,´ said Dick Dickson, chairman of the company.

Hewlett-Packard Co., a major employer in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, ranked 10th on the list of the top 25 companies for executive compensation. Chairman Louis Platt earned $6.7 million in salary and bonuses last year, up 19 percent from his compensation the previous year.

His salary increased to $1.6 million from $1.37 million in 1995. However, his bonus fell to $134,121 last year from $155,755 the previous year.

He also received $3.1 million in restricted stock this year and realized $1.7 million in stock from the company.

Hewlett Packard spokeswoman Renee Benzel said the company had a strong year in 1996, with revenues up 22 percent to $38 billion. Net profit rose 6 percent to $2.6 billion.

About 82 percent of H-P’s business is concentrated in the computer business and about 10 percent in test and measurement, she said.

Of the top 25 executives, one CEO saw his income increase by 193 percent in the last year.

Robert Linch, head of Dayton-Hudson Corp., received a $3 million bonus this last year, compared with a bonus of only $423,365 the previous year.

However, his salary stayed in the same range. He drew $1.027 million in 1996, compared with $1.009 million the previous year. He also received $581,506 worth of stock in the company last year.

Dayton Hudson is the fourth-largest general merchandiser in the country and operates Marshall Field’s, Mervyn’s and Target stores.

Another big increase was scored by Richard D. McCormick, president and CEO of Denver-based U S West Communications Group. His salary and bonus rose 53 percent in the last year to $3.99 million.

While McCormick’s salary remained the same in the last year at $760,000, he received a bonus of $1.1 million, compared with $450,000 the previous year. He also was awarded $2 million worth of stock in the telecommunications company.

U S West Communications Group’s 1996 earnings per share, excluding one-time items, improved 3.8 percent to $2.44. The company’s cash flow improved 22 percent in 1996 to $3.3

billion.

The company’s other group, U S West Media Group, merged with Continental Cablevision last year to become the third-largest cable company in the country. The company now owns or co-owns cables systems that pass almost one in four U.S. homes.

Not all executives fared as well as they have in the past. J.R. Walter, CEO of Donnelly & Sons Co., a commercial printer based in Chicago, saw his total compensation fall by 32 percent last year. His salary went up to $986,790 from $900,000 in 1995, but he received no bonus this year as opposed to the $558,000 bonus he earned in 1995. Donnelley operates R.R. Donnelley Norwest in Greeley.

Another decline was noted by Burlington Northern Santa Fe president Robert O. Krebs. His salary and bonus fell by 29 percent in the last year to $5.6 million.

He earned $544,000 in 1996, up from $525,000 the previous year. However, his bonus declined substantially to only $16,229 from $265,147 in 1995. But he received $4 million worth of stock in the company in 1996.

The railroad, based in Fort Worth, Texas, covers 31,000 route miles and is the second-largest railroad in the country, after Union Pacific.

In 1996, the company earned $8.1 million, up 32 percent from the previous year.

A railroad executive has topped The Northern Colorado Business Report’s annual ranking of the 25 highest-paid corporate officers for companies with local operations.

The list of 25 companies represents a mix of industries including railroads, breweries, telecommunications businesses, computer manufacturers, retailers and others.

Besides salaries often stretching into six zeros and beyond, almost all the executives received huge bonuses — sometimes larger than their annual salaries. Many received other forms of compensation, as well as stock options in the companies.

At the very top was Drew Lewis, chief executive officer of the the railroad company Union Pacific Corp. His total compensation for…

Related Content