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Roger Jenkins’ Pay Rises as Others’ Fall at Murphy Oil

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Murphy Oil Corp. President and CEO Roger W. Jenkins topped $14 million in total compensation in 2015 despite a salary freeze and a lack of a bonus, reaping almost $7.2 million in stock awards.

His total, $14.08 million, eclipsed his 2014 compensation of $12.8 million even though other named executive officers suffered decreases in pay, according to the El Dorado-based petroleum giant’s proxy statement, filed Tuesday. 

His base salary, frozen on the basis of company performance, remained $1.3 million, and he realized $348,469 on stock option awards, exercising 15,522 shares.

John W. Eckart, executive vice president and CFO, had total compensation of $2.65 million, down from the $3.1 million he earned in 2013. Eckart, whose salary was $506,333, was not a named executive officer in 2014, and his pay for that year was not listed in the proxy. The pay for former CFO Kevin G. Fitzgerald, $328,751, reflected the fact that he retired on March 1, 2015.

Walter K. Compton, executive vice president and general counsel, saw his compensation sag by more a million dollars, to $2.69 million last year from $3.7 million in 2014. 

Senior Vice President Kelli M. Hammock, who reaped a total of $1.5 million on a salary of $385,000, and Senior Vice President and Controller Keith S. Caldwell, who made $1.6 million on a $377,665 salary, were not named officers in 2014.

The executives’ compensation, including the lack of bonuses, reflected Murphy Oil’s struggles as petroleum prices plunged in 2015. In January, the company reported a net loss for 2015 of $2.27 billion, or $13.03 per share.

Murphy Oil’s stockholders will vote on four proposals at the company’s annual stockholders meeting at 10 a.m. May 11 at the South Arkansas Arts Center, 110 E. Fifth Street, El Dorado.  

Proposals include the re-election of 12 members of the board of directors, including Jenkins; an advisory vote to approve executive compensation; and a vote on retaining KPMG LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm. The fourth proposal is a vote on a 2017 annual incentive plan.

The proxy included an analysis of the company’s compensation plan for 2016, noting that its compensation committee met on Feb. 2 to address pay in light of lower oil prices and market pressures. The committee took action to freeze 2016 salaries for named officers at 2015 levels, adjust annual bonuses downward with rigorous performance goals for 2016, and reduce the value of 2016’s long-term incentive grants for named officers and other managers.

The panel also cut the board of directors’ compensation package, including reducing each director’s annual equity grant from $200,000 to $150,000.

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