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2000 CFO Pay: Tiny Company’s Finance Chief Earned More than $2.2 Million

Check out the compensation of CFOs at other small companies as well.
Michelle GabrielleJune 11, 2001

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s SVP, COO, CFO, and secretary Brian C. Cunningham exercised nearly $2 million in options in 2000, according to the company’s recently released proxy.

He also received $257,500 in salary, bringing his total compensation for the year to $2,227,500.

In 1999, the tiny South San Francisco-based pharmaceutical company paid Cunningham a total of $250,000, all of which was in salary.

In 2000, Rigel lost a whopping $25.4 million—more than double its 1999 loss of $12.4 million—on just $13.2 million in revenue, up from $9 million in 1999.

Cunningham joined Rigel in July 1996 as the company’s secretary. Two years later he became SVP and COO and in February 1999, he was named CFO.

From January 1989 to September 1998, Cunningham was a partner in the law firm Cooley Godward LLP, where he was head of the life sciences group and the health care group. From May 1982 to December 1989, he served as VP, secretary, and general counsel of Genentech, Inc..

Cunningham holds a BA in engineering science and a JD from Washington University.

Elsewhere among recently released proxies:

In her last year as Level 8 Systems, Inc.’s CFO, treasurer, and assistant secretary, Renee Fulk took home a total of $233,000.


She received $135,000 in salary and a $98,000 bonus from the Cary, N.C.-based technology consulting company.

In 1999, Fulk received $110,583 in salary and $65,000 in bonus. Total Compensation: $175,583.

Fulk resigned from Level 8 Systems, effective March 31, 2001. She was replaced by John P. Broderick.

Prior to joining the company, Broderick was EVP of Swell Inc., a sports media E-commerce company, where he oversaw the development of all commerce operations and served as the organization’s interim CFO. Previously, Broderick served as CFO and SVP of North American operations at Programmer’s Paradise, a publicly held international software marketer.

Broderick is a certified public accountant with a BS degree in accounting from Villanova University.

In 2000, Level 8 Systems’s loss swelled to $23.6 million from $15.5 million the prior year while its revenues jumped about 58 percent to $82.6 million, from $52.9 million.

CNB Financial Corp.’s EVP and CFO Peter J. Corso took home $220,736 in total compensation in 2000, according to the company’s recently released proxy.

Corso received $148,400 in salary, $54,394 in bonus, and $17,942 in other compensation, $14,792 of which went toward a vehicle allowance. The remainder of that amount consisted of a company contribution toward a 401(k) profit sharing plan.

In 1999, Corso, who started at CNB Financial in 1993, took home a total of $210,280 from the Canajoharie, N.Y.-based holding company for Central National Bank. He received $140,000 in salary, $59,280 in bonus, and $11,000 in a company contribution toward a 401(k) profit sharing plan.

In 2000, CNB Financial earned $7 million on $73.5 million in revenue, compared to $6.3 million on $59.7 million in 1999.

  • Aerosonic Corp. paid its EVP and CFO Eric J. McCracken $124,079 in salary in the most recent fiscal year.

In the prior year, the Clearwater, Fla.-based maker of aircraft instruments paid McCracken $109,790 in salary.

McCracken served in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1990 as an aircraft weapons systems instructor and technician. He was VP of corporate banking for Barnett Bank, N.A. from 1991 to 1996.

McCracken joined Aerosonic in November 1996. He has a BA in business administration from St. Leo College.

In fiscal 2001, Aerosonic earned $.5 million on $24.7 million in revenue, compared to $300,000 on $23.3 million in revenue in fiscal 2000.

Larry Muller, who was promoted from CFO to COO of Take Two Interactive Software, Inc. in 2000, took home over $1 million in exercised options during the year.

Muller also received $256,077 in salary and $133,629 in bonus from the New York-based developer and distributor of PCs. Total Compensation: $1,523,978.

In 1999, Muller took home $215,077 in salary and $200,808 in bonus. Total Compensation: $414,885.

Prior to his promotion in July 2000, Muller, 42, served as CFO from January 1999 until April 2000. From December 1997 until January 1999, Muller was COO and CFO of Jack of All Games, a subsidiary of the company.

Muller also co-founded Alliance Distributors in 1989 and served as its chairman and CFO until Alliance Distributors was acquired by Take Two in December 1997.

Muller received a BA in economics from Stonybrook University in 1979.

James H. David, Jr. who replaced Muller in April 2000, took home a total of $120,000. He received $105,000 in salary and $15,000 in bonus.

From March 1996 to November 1998, David, 36, was CFO of Motown Records, a division of Polygram. After Seagram Co. acquired Polygram, David was VP of finance for Seagram’s Universal- Motown Records.

Prior to Motown, David was a senior manager at Ernst & Young, LLP. David, who is a CPA, graduated from Villanova University with a BS in accounting .

In October 2000, Take Two earned $25 million on $387 million in revenue, compared to $16.3 million on $305.9 million in revenue in 1999.

In his last year as Preview Systems, Inc.’s COO and CFO, G. Bradford Solso took home $187,336 in total compensation, virtually all of it from salary.

In 1999, Solso received $78,256 in salary and $19,563 in bonus. Altogether, he took home $98,099 from the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of commerce platform and services.

Solso joined Preview Systems on July 6, 1999. On March 20, 2001 Solso resigned to pursue other interests, according to a company press release.

Roger Rowe, who had joined Preview in October 1999 as VP and corporate controller, replaced Solso.

From June 1998 to October 1999, Rowe held several positions at North Pacific Group, a wholesale trading and distribution company.

In 2000, Preview more than doubled its revenue, to $7.8 million from $3.5 million in 1999. The company racked up a net loss of $24.5 million in 2000, compared to a net loss of $17.1 million in 1999.