More than half of the 13 CEOs in our survey of companies headquartered in Central Florida saw their pay rise in 2009 despite continued turbulence in the overall economy. If it's any solace to investors, more than half of the companies also posted double-digit percentage gains in their stock prices over the past year.
I've combed through the fine print, so let's dive into the numbers:
1. Harris Corp. Chairman and CEO Howard Lance received a total pay package valued at $10 million, up 14 percent over 2008. Melbourne-based Harris is one of the region's largest companies and No. 371 on the Fortune 500. The company's board determined that Lance and other top executives will not receive an increase in base salary this year because of economic uncertainty.
2. Tupperware Brands Corp. Chairman and CEO E.V. "Rick" Goings came in a close second with $9.9 million, up 28 percent over last year. Though most of the Orlando company's operations are centered outside the United States, Goings is making an effort this year to also revive the brand domestically.
3. Darden Restaurants Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis earned a pay package valued at $6.7 million, a 27 percent increase over 2008. Darden, No. 311 on the Fortune 500, has steered its flagship brand Olive Garden through the recession thanks, in part, to Otis' decision to resist deep discounting.
4. Brown & Brown Insurance CEO Powell Brown took home a package worth $4.2 million, up 69 percent from last year. His big increase was largely because he was promoted last year to take over the Daytona Beach company from his father, Hyatt Brown.
5. National Retail Properties Inc. CEO Craig Macnab earned total compensation worth $2.6 million, the first on our list to show a decrease – 11 percent from 2008.
6. AirTran Airways CEO Robert Fornaro bears the distinction of the highest percentage increase in pay among the CEOs in our list who weren't promoted in 2009. His pay package was valued at $2 million, 32 percent higher than 2008.
7. Publix Super Markets Inc. CEO Ed Crenshaw is noticeably low on this list given that Publix has the largest revenue of any company in our survey at No. 99 on the Fortune 500. He earned $916,705, a 15 percent increase over 2008. Publix is one of two companies on this list that is not publicly traded. However, it does issue stock to its employees, directors and employee benefit plans and must file disclosures with the SEC.
8. Ruth Hospitality Group CEO Michael O'Donnell took the biggest haircut, a 55 percent decrease to $887,000. The drop was primarily because of a big stock award the previous year when he was named CEO. He was not awarded any stock awards or options in 2009.
9. International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa France Kennedy saw a 3 percent decrease in her total compensation to $769,780, primarily because of a drop in the value of stock awards.
10. FARO Technologies Inc. CEO Jay Freeland earned a pay package worth $699,204, a 34 percent decrease over last year.
11. Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. CEO William McMunn also saw a decline of 29 percent to $608,489.
12. Universal Orlando President and COO Bill Davis' total compensation increased 6 percent to $603,904 over last year. Universal Orlando is not publicly traded, but files disclosures with the SEC because it has public debt.
13. LightPath Technologies Inc. CEO James Gaynor saw his pay increase by 13 percent to $260,634.
The Sentinel includes salary, bonus, incentive-plan pay, perks and the estimated value of stock awards and options granted during the year when figuring the compensation of executives. The totals may differ from the figures listed in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC, but focus on the value of the compensation a company's board intended to award an executive.
Beth Kassab can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5448. Read her blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/thebottomline.