Johnelle Hunt to Retire From J.B. Hunt Transport Services May 1; Her Shares Worth $1 Billion

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2008 9:00 am  

Johnelle Hunt, who with her late husband J.B. Hunt founded one of the country's largest trucking firms, says she will retire from the board of directors of J.B. Hunt Transport Services on May 1.

Johnelle Hunt, who with her late husband, J.B. Hunt, founded one of the country's largest trucking firms, will retire from the board of directors of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. at the end of the company's annual meeting on May 1.

The announcement was part of the Lowell-based trucking firm's proxy, filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission on Monday. Click here to view the proxy.

Mrs. Hunt, 76, has been the company's corporate secretary since 1988 and a board member since 1993. Before those roles, she was credit manager and secretary-treasurer of the company.

Mrs. Hunt is retiring from the board in compliance with the director retirement policy adopted on Jan. 26, 2006, which mandates that a director is not eligible to stand for re-election once he or she reaches 72 years of age.

Mrs. Hunt spoke at the 2007 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards, accepting an award on behalf of Montana Tractors. Click here to see the video. She is one of three owners of Montana Tractors, including Charles Goforth and Dan Downing.

According to the proxy, Mrs. Hunt owned 34.4 million shares or 27.5 percent of the outstanding stock of the J.B. Hunt Transport. Early this morning shares were trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $30.02, putting a value of $1.03 billion on Mrs. Hunt's shares.

The proxy said the company's annual stockholders meeting will be held May 1 at the company headquarters to elect three Class I directors for a term of three years.

The two top executive officers earned more than $1 million last year. But all of the five top officers earned less last year than they did in 2006.

Kirk Thompson, president and chief executive officer, had a base salary of $633,077, but incentive awards ($17,325), stock option awards (29,545), restricted share units ($222,749) and other compensation ($12,629) ran his total compensation to $1,182,325.

Wayne Garrison, chairman, had a salary of $502.308. Restricted share units of $477,508, stock options of $61,923, incentive awards of $13,750 and other compensation of $54,105 boosted his total package to $1,108,594. Garrison is a 5.1 percent owner of the company with 6.37 million shares for a value of more than $191 million.

The other three most highly compensated executive officers were Jerry Walton, executive vice president, finance/administration and chief financial officer; Paul Bergant, EVP marketing, chief marketing officer and president of intermodal services; and Craig Harper, EVP operations and chief operating officer.

Walton's salary of $373,692 was enhanced by $194,056 in restricted share units and $131,473 in stock options for a total package of $733,504.

Bergant saw $154,828 in restricted share units and $137,303 in stock options added to his base salary of $331,638 for a total of $664,204.

Harper was paid a salary of $346,538 plus $115,461 in restricted shares, $150,938 in stock options for total compensation of $629,175.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.