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Top Producers Hail From Industry's Fringe

It probably says a lot about the state of the U.S. home fashions business that the five highest paid executives in the industry last year were on its periphery — producing carpets, tiles or decorative fabrics, rather than mainstream home textiles like sheets and towels.

And as they have in the past, they mostly took it to the bank largely in the form of stock options exercised, reflecting the relative financial strength of the handful of publicly reporting companies.

The industry's fattest paycheck last year went to Larry Liebenow, president and CEO of decorative fabrics producer Quaker Fabric, who pocketed $2.9 million in 2003— less than a fourth of that in salary, $673,000, and the remaining $2.2 million in stock options exercised.

Holding down the second and third spots in this year's ranking are two floor-coverings execs, W.Christopher Wellborn, president of the Dal-Tile division of Mohawk, with $1.7 million; and W. Monte Thorton, president of Mohawk's carpet group, with $1.3 million.

Rounding out the top five are Howard Dunn Jr., president and chief operating officer of Culp Fabrics, and a perennial top earner; and Jeffrey Lorberbaum, president and CEO of Mohawk Industries, which derives by far the lion's share of its sales and profits both from its carpeting and tile businesses.

So much compensation is based on company performance, in the form of cash bonuses, that it should come as no surprise that only slightly more than half of the skippers in this year's profile, 13 of the 25, took home a bonus, reflecting the straitened circumstances of much of the U.S. home fashions businesses. That's about the same ratio as in 2002, when 12 of 21 executives banked a bonus.

In a chilling reminder of the state of the overall business, seven executives on this year's list of 25 — more than a fourth — are employed at two bankrupt companies, WestPoint Stevens and Dan River. And still drawing a paycheck in 2003 was Holcombe Green Jr., even though he was ousted earlier that year as chairman and CEO of WestPoint Stevens, a company he led into Chapter 11.

Executive Compensation Report VENDORS
dollar amounts in thousands

Name, Title Company Total cash, stock options exercised Salary 2003 Bonus 2003 Long-term incentive plan Total cash compensation Value of stock options exercised Total cash comp. 3-yr. % change 2001-2003
(1) Fiscal year ended April 27, 2003.
(2) Retired on Dec. 26, 2003.
(3) Since Aug. 29, 2003.
Larry A. Liebenow, President and CEO Quaker Fabric $2,889 $673 $0 $0 $673 $2,216 5.2%
W. Christopher Wellborn, President, Dal-Tile Mohawk 1,722 420 315 0 735 987
H. Monte Thorton, President, Carpet Group Mohawk 1,331 420 235 0 655 676 17.0
Howard L. Dunn Jr., (1)President and Chief Operating Officer Culp 1,252 364 309 0 673 579 -4.4
Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, President and CEO Mohawk 1,178 667 511 0 1,178 0 9.2
Robert G. Culp, Chairman and CEO(1) Culp 879 416 353 0 769 110 -6.0
M. L. (Chip) Fontenot, President and Chief Operating Officer WestPoint Stevens 778 479 299 0 778 0 75.5
Thomas M. Duff, Chairman and CEO Wellman 690 690 0 0 690 0 -25.0
E. Randall Chestnut, Chairman, President and CEO Crown Crafts 589 368 221 0 589 0 -24.2
Joseph L. Lanier, Chairman and CEO Dan River 575 575 0 0 575 0 4.2
Holcombe T. Green Jr., Chairman and CEO WestPoint Stevens 531 531 0 0 531 0 -41.0
William B. Kilbride, President, Mohawk Home Mohawk 503 363 140 0 503 0 -10.1
Robert B. Dale, President, Bed & Bath WestPoint Stevens 481 309 172 0 481 0 171.7
Richard L. Williams, (2)President and Chief Operating Officer Dan River 450 450 0 0 450 0 4.0
Clifford J. Christenson, Former President and Chief Operating Officer Wellman 413 413 0 0 413 0 -29.0
Arthur S. Birkins, President, Basic Bedding WestPoint Stevens 378 258 121 0 378 0 76.6
Nanci Freeman, President and CEO, Crown Crafts Infant Products Crown Crafts 344 245 99 0 344 0 0.6
Franklin N. Saxon, President and Chief Operating Officer Culp 332 233 99 0 332 0 -2.9
Thomas L. Muscalino, (3)President and Chief Operating Officer Dan River 328 328 0 0 328 0 16.7
M. Beatrice Spires, Vice President, Design and Merchandising Quaker Fabric 326 326 0 0 326 0 10.6
Mark Hellwig, Vice President, Supply Chain Management Quaker Fabric 291 291 0 0 291 0 13.6
Rodney A. Smith, President, Culp Decorative Fabrics Division Culp 285 200 85 0 285 0 7.7
John R. Hobson, Former Vice President, Fibers and Recycled Product Group Wellman 264 264 0 0 264 0 -19.0
Joseph C. Tucker, Vice President, Fiber and Recycled Products Group Wellman 241 241 0 0 241 0 -22.2
Thomas Muzekari, Vice President, Sales Quaker Fabric 232 232 0 0 232 0 5.2


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