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Public pay.

Don Tyson's Compensation Package Isn't Chicken Feed

Don Tyson's 1990 salary was $372,000 less than his 1987 salary.

But don't feel sorry for the chairman and chief executive officer of Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc.

Tyson's total compensation for the same time period increased by $150,000 from $3,495,000 to $3,645,000. That makes Tyson, 60, the highest-paid CEO of any Arkansas-based, publicly held company.

More than $537,000 of Tyson's 1990 compensation came in the form of "certain perquisites, including transportation, the use of company vehicles and the company's payment of life insurance premiums," according to Tyson Foods' 1991 proxy statement.

$1 Million Club

Five Arkansas public companies paid their top executives more than $1 million in salary last year. Seven companies had executives with more than $1 million in total compensation in 1990.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, the nation's largest retailer, had no executives in 1990 making more than $1 million.

Sam Walton, 73, Wal-Mart's founder and chairman, is not on this year's Arkansas Business rankings of highest-paid executives. That's because Wal-Mart discloses the salaries of only its five best-paid executives, and Walton is not among them.

In past years, Wal-Mart executives Donald Soderquist, David Glass and Jack Shewmaker dominated the rankings. This year, they didn't make the list. That's because Wal-Mart prefers to tie an executive's pay to the performance of the company by awarding stock options that can be cashed in for millions of dollars.
Million Dollar Executives
 Executives With Executives with
 More Than More Than
 $1 Million $1 Million
 Salary Total Income
Dillard Dept. Stores Inc. 3 4
Tyson Foods Inc. 2 2
Southwestern Energy Co. 0 1

Here's a sampling:

* Glass, 55, cashed in stock options worth more than $6 million in 1988, making him the highest-compensated Arkansas executive that year. In 1989, he cashed in options worth $1.7 million. Glass is president and CEO of Wal-Mart.

* Soderquist, 57, cashed in stock options worth $4.7 million in 1987, making him the best-compensated Arkansas executive that year. In 1990, Soderquist cashed in another $4.9 million in options. Soderquist is vice chairman and chief operating officer of Wal-Mart.

* Shewmaker, 53, cashed in stock options worth $4.3 million in 1987, placing him second on the list of best-compensated Arkansas executive. Shewmaker is now retired from Wal-Mart, but he continues to serve as a director and draws a salary of $100,000 per year as a consultant.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Arkansas Business Rankings; salaries of executives of public companies
Author:Gibson, Carolyn
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 28, 1991
Previous Article:Arkansas Gazette. "The silence is haunting." (reminiscenses of former journalists of the Arkansas Gazette newspaper)(part 1)
Next Article:Arkansas business rankings: executive compensation.

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