The Big Money: Most Public Company Execs in Arkansas Got Raises in 2010

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 12:00 am  

Mike Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., pulled total compensation of $18.7 million in 2010.

Arkansas Business' list includes all NEOs of Arkansas-based companies, even executives who don't actually live in Arkansas, like Teodor Klowan Jr. of Rochester, N.Y., the chief financial officer of ThermoEnergy Corp.

The list has traditionally included Arkansas residents who are NEOs of companies headquartered outside Arkansas. Only one of those appears this year: Jeffrey Fox, the former Alltel Corp. executive who is now CEO and president of Convergys Corp. of Cincinnati. (He comes in at No. 19 with total compensation of almost $3.8 million.)

Out With the Old

Turnover among NEOs has accelerated in the past couple of years, with a number of longtime fixtures on the list disappearing. In fact, six of last year's top 25 are gone, including Claiborne Deming and Harvey Doerr of Murphy Oil and Richard L. Bond, the former CEO of Tyson Foods Inc.

Several more are already gone from their companies, although they appeared in the proxy and are on our list. That number includes John A. Meyer, who resigned as CEO of Acxiom in March; Steven A. Cossé, who retired as general counsel for Murphy Oil in March; Kirk Thompson, who retired as CEO of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell at the end of 2010; and Thomas M. Schoewe, the former CFO of Wal-Mart who retired in January.

Brian C. Cornell, who was No. 2 on last year's list with total 2009 compensation of $14.3 million, is missing this year. He is still a Wal-Mart EVP running the Sam's Club division, but he was only an NEO in last year's proxy thanks to the $10.57 million worth of stock that Wal-Mart used to lure him away from Michael's Stores Inc. in April 2009.

In With the New

Eleven names on this year's list are new since last year, although one of them, Jeff Fox, was on the list in past years as an NEO for Alltel Corp.

The highest-paid newcomer is No. 8, Charles M. Holley Jr., who replaced Schoewe as Wal-Mart's chief financial officer. The other newbies are:

  • Donnie King and Noel W. White, senior group vice presidents for Tyson Foods;
  • Cynthia Nash, chief information officer for Windstream;
  • Three at Arkansas Best - Senior VP J. Lavon Morton, CFO Michael E. Newcity and VP and Treasurer Donald W. Pearson;
  • Byrom L. Walker, controller for Deltic Timber Corp. of El Dorado;
  • Michael R. Weindel Jr., a vice president at USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren; and
  • Lance K. Stewart, CFO for P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. of Tontitown.



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