Exercised stock options continue to play a big role in the compensation gains of top finance executives, as detailed in proxy filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For example, last year W. Thomas Forrester, vice president and CFO at insurance company Progressive Corp., earned $5.5 million, including a $944,000 bonus and nearly $1 million in restricted stock. However, the bulk of his earnings — more than $3 million — came from exercising stock options and then selling the underlying shares.
W. Randolph Baker, vice president and CFO of Anheuser-Busch, took home about $3.6 million last year, including about $2.26 million from exercising options.
Adobe senior vice president and CFO Murray Demo made about $4.9 million, more than $4 million of which came from exercising options.
Stock options played a big role at midsize companies as well. For example, Guitar Center executive vice president, CFO, and secretary Bruce Ross made nearly $1.1 million, more than half from exercising options.
Other 2003 compensation packages for CFOs: