Acxiom Sweetens Pot for Top Execs To Stick Around

Speaking of Acxiom, did you know the company is sinking big bucks into making sure some of its chief executives stick around?

The company’s annual report revealed that it paid Cindy Childers, its senior vice president, a $310,000 retention bonus between December 2011 and November 2012 just to make sure she stayed at the company. Childers wanted to retire, the filing stated, but the company wanted her to stay long enough to train a replacement.

Also, in its fiscal year that ended in March, it was offering Nada Stirratt — chief revenue officer, hired in January 2012 — a chance to get $100,000 per each 1 percent of Acxiom’s data and marketing services sales, up to $3 million, provided she meet a certain goal. Stirratt’s base salary is $500,000.

The goal was $802 million in sales and $89 million in profits in the marketing and data service sector. Only problem: She didn’t hit it. The numbers were $767 million in sales and $80.5 million in profits. So how does this reflect on Acxiom’s willingness to throw so much money at its executives?

“It’s understandable,” Carter Malloy, an analyst covering Acxiom for Stephens Inc. in Little Rock, said regarding Stirratt’s failure to hit the mark.

He said the company’s revenue growth this year wasn’t too exciting, but next year, with new products being released, Stirratt has a better chance to hit that goal. And sure enough, Acxiom has a similar incentive in place for her for its current fiscal year, which began in April.