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Vendor Execs Taking It On the Chin

Slightly more than half of the execs ranked in this year's Executive Compensation survey — nine out of 17 — took a pay cut, mostly in the form of lower or nonexistent bonuses, and worthless stock options.

That can be compared to the three-year running average, in which slightly more than 40 percent, seven of the same 17 executives, took a haircut.

The highest paid execs came from Mohawk Industries, where profits rose 9 percent last year on a double-digit gain in sales.

Reflecting the success of their business, the two best paychecks in 2004 went to two Mohawk execs, William Kilbride, chief of Mohawk Home, at $2.1 million, and his boss, Jeffrey Lorberbaum, chairman and CEO, who pocketed $1.5 million.

In Kilbride's case, most of the compensation came in the form of a cash bonus and stock options, which added to his base salary of $383,000. In the past, Kilbride has chosen not to bank the proceeds from the stock options he's exercised, instead donating the money to charities.

Lorberbaum chose not to exercise any stock options during 2004, but took home a $730,000 cash bonus in addition to his salary of $1.5 million.

Nine of the remaining 15 skippers lost ground last year in lock step with their companies' performance.

The other gainers reported only modest increases in salary: Arthur Birkins, basic bedding president at WestPoint Stevens, was up 4.8 percent, to $396,000; M. Beatrice Spires, chief of design and merchandising at Quaker, up 1.5 percent to $331,000; Mark Hellwig, head of supply chain management at Quaker, up 1.4 percent; and Thomas Muzekari, sales chief at Quaker, up 1.3 percent.

Two Culp executives, Franklin Saxon, president and chief operating officer, and Rodney Smith, president of Culp Decorative Fabrics, reported their salaries unchanged.

The biggest loser last year was Larry Liebenow, president and CEO of Quaker Fabrics, whose pay was slashed by more than 76 percent, to $682,000 from $2.9 million in 1993, when he augmented his cash salary of $672,000 with $2.2 million from exercised stock options. During 2004, Liebenow settled for a 1.3 percent increase in his cash salary, to $682,000, up from $673,000 the preceding year.

Executive Compensation: Vendors
dollar amounts in thousands

Name, title Company Total cash, stock options exercised Salary 2004 Bonus 2004 Long-term incentive plan Total cash compensation Value of stock options exercised Total cash comp. 3-yr. % change 2002-2004
William B. Kilbride president, Mohawk Home Mohawk $2,073 $383 $144 $0 $527 $1,547 -10.6%
Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum chairman, president and CEO Mohawk 1,476 720 756 0 1,476 0 10.7
Robert G. Culp1 chairman and CEO Culp 770 416 354 0 770 0 -6.0
H. Monte Thorton president, carpet group Mohawk 761 435 326 0 761 0 5.7
Larry A. Liebenow president and CEO Quaker Fabric 682 682 0 0 682 0 3.4
Thomas M. Duff chairman and CEO Wellman 648 648 0 0 648 0 -40.5
M. L. (Chip) Fontenot president and chief operating officer WestPoint Stevens 632 493 139 0 632 0 35.9
Robert B. Dale president, bed & bath WestPoint Stevens 475 318 157 0 475 0 45.0
Arthur S. Birkins president, basic bedding WestPoint Stevens 396 265 130 0 396 0 58.3
E. Randall Chestnut chairman, president and CEO Crown Crafts 395 395 0 0 395 0 -31.1
Franklin N. Saxon president and chief operating officer Culp 332 233 99 0 332 0 -2.9
M. Beatrice Spires vice president, design and merchandising Quaker Fabric 331 331 0 0 331 0 3.4
Mark Hellwig vice president, supply chain management Quaker Fabric 295 295 0 0 295 0 3.4
Rodney A. Smith president, Culp decorative fabrics division Culp 285 200 85 0 285 0 7.7
Nanci Freeman president and CEO, Crown Crafts infant products Crown Crafts 267 267 0 0 267 0 -18.6
Thomas Muzekari vice president, sales Quaker Fabric 235 235 0 0 235 0 3.3
Joseph C. Tucker vice president, fiber and recycled products products group Wellman 231 231 0 0 231 0 -31.8


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