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Marineau’s Millions: Levi’s Chief Exec Sees Pay Jump to $25.1M

NEW YORK — Add Phil Marineau to the short list of apparel executives who have reeled in eight-figure paychecks.While last year didn’t...

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NEW YORK — Add Phil Marineau to the short list of apparel executives who have reeled in eight-figure paychecks.

While last year didn’t quite bring the long-awaited turnaround in sales for his employer, Levi Strauss & Co., the company’s president and chief executive officer still saw his pay soar to $25.1 million — almost 15 times what he earned in 2001, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The biggest boost came from a $22.5 million payout from the company’s “leadership shares” program. That program, which rewards performance over a five-year period, serves as something of an alternative at the privately held company for the stock options that are a key piece of executive compensation at major publicly traded companies.

Levi’s reports its results to the SEC because it has publicly traded bonds.

The jeans giant had its seventh-consecutive year of sales declines last year, but the company saw sales growth for the third and fourth quarters and signed a deal to roll-out a mass-priced Levi Strauss Signature line at Wal-Mart Stores. Sources indicated those two events make it likely that Levi’s will be able to grow sales this year.

Marineau was not available to comment.

The program also paid bonuses ranging from $1.4 million to $2.5 million to four other top Levi’s executives, according to the filing. The 2002 payouts were the first under the program since 1999.

In addition to the $22.5 million payout, Marineau’s compensation included $1.2 million in salary, $1.3 million in annual bonus and $165,777 in other compensation. That’s up from a total package of $1.7 million the prior year, including $1 million in salary, $450,000 in bonus and $233,284 in other compensation.

The “leadership shares” vest over time and are worth about $25 each, but do not represent an actual ownership position in the company, according to SEC filings.

In Marineau’s first year with the company, he was awarded 810,000 shares, with a target value of about $20 million, to make up for stock options he had to forfeit when he left Pepsi. The first third of those shares vested last year and were a major component of his $22.5 million payout.
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