Perks still rising for CEOs at North Carolina companies

elyportillo@charlotteobserver.comJune 8, 2013 

Country club dues. Trips on the corporate jet. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of tax preparation help.

Perks make up only a small percentage of the average CEO’s pay package. Still, the median perks package of $98,250 given to a CEO at North Carolina’s largest companies was more than triple the state’s median annual wage last year. Perks rose 3.1 percent from 2011.

Perks can cover a wide range of benefits and can even extend to a nice piece of jewelry. Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock’s package of perks and related compensation totaled $201,878 – which, in addition to $63,339 worth of personal use of company aircraft, included a $2,622 Lowe’s logo ring.

Some of the biggest benefits chief executives typically receive include life insurance premium payments, supplemental retirement payments and relocation benefits, which often total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many companies pay for tax and financial advisory services for CEOs – a cost that can be substantial. For example, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan received $27,303 worth of financial advisory services last year, while Polypore chief executive Robert Toth received estate planning worth $8,041 and tax preparation fees totaling $11,975. David Roberts of Carlisle Companies received $39,671 worth of tax return preparation and financial advisory services.

Chief executives also often get to use a company’s planes for personal travel. Moynihan received $477,000 worth of personal use of corporate aircraft in 2012, for example. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. chief executive Frank Harrison III received $133,158 of personal aircraft use last year.

Some companies offer perks such as car allowances and country club dues payments. Retired Snyder’s-Lance CEO David Singer received $12,402 for country club dues and a $17,999 automobile allowance. Steven Tanger of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers received a $9,600 car allowance as part of his $12.6 million pay package.

Companies account for their perks differently. Krispy Kreme has one of the simpler formulations: Instead of receiving specific perks, the company pays CEO Jim Morgan an “executive allowance” of $2,000 a month, cash, to spend as he sees fit. Xerium Technologies gave former CEO Stephen Light $45,000 “to be applied as determined by Mr. Light for expenses associated with the automobile Mr. Light uses for company business and financial planning and other purposes.”

Perks can also be specific to the company’s business area: Bruton Smith, CEO of car dealership chain Sonic Automotive, received $98,250 worth of demo vehicles in 2012.

Portillo: 704-358-5041 On Twitter @ESPortillo

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service