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Herman Miller executives’ remuneration doubled in record year

Tuesday 13 September 2011

The top five executives at Herman Miller saw their compensation packages grow dramatically in 2011.
It may help to make up for 2009 and 2010 when they took pay cuts and their bonuses shrank as the Zeeland office furniture company's bottom line took a hit during the Great Recession. During that period, Herman Miller laid off workers and temporarily trimmed its work week.
Together, the five top executives nearly doubled their total remuneration, rising 194% to $6.3 million from $3.2 million last year. Chief Executive Brian Walker collected $2.7 million in total compensation, an 86% hike over the $1.45 million reported a year ago.
The compensation of the other top executives, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show
• Greg Bylsma, chief financial officer - $688,000.
• Don Goeman, executive vice president of research, design & development - $342,000.
• Andy Lock, president of Herman Miller international, - $1.2 million.
• Curt Pullen, executive vice president of North American office and learning - $902,000.
The compensation includes base salary, annual executive incentive cash bonus, long-term equity incentives, retirement and health benefits, and other compensation plans, according to the company.
To put this in context, it's worth noting that while Herman Miller executives’ compensation packages swelled generously in 2011, they still lagged behind their counterparts at competitor Steelcase Inc.
CEO Jim Hackett received $3.5 million, a 59.1 percent hike over 2010.
The rest of the executive team's compensation packages had double-digit percentage growth as well, although in the teens or low-20s:
Steelcase reported 2011 sales rose 5.7 percent to $2.43 billion, and profits climbed $20.4 million from a $13.6 loss in fiscal 2010.
In a letter sent to shareholders, Herman Miller noted that the rise in compensation was tied to a dramatic rise in sales, the highest increase during a 1-year period in Herman Miller's history. Earnings per share were $1.06, up 147 percent from 43 cents in fiscal year 2010.
But while Herman Miller’s shares rose about 31% in its fiscal year ending in May, the stock has fallen almost 20% then.

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