IPG Execs Enjoyed ’08 Pay Hikes

NEW YORK Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth (pictured) received $10.84 million in compensation in 2008, including a 17.7 percent hike in his base salary to $1.3 million.

Roth’s total compensation, which includes stock, bonus and perquisites, rose 21 percent over the previous year, according to information in IPG’s newly filed proxy for the company’s annual meeting.
The second-highest paid executive at the company is John Dooner, CEO of McCann Worldgroup (and former IPG CEO), who was given $5.21 million in total compensation, including a base salary of $1.28 million, unchanged from 2007. In the year-earlier period, Dooner received $5.87 million in compensation.
Frank Mergenthaler, IPG’s CFO, was awarded $4.52 million, up from $4.31 million in 2007. Of that amount,  $900,000 was in base salary, a 13.7 percent increase over the year-earlier period.
Philippe Krakowsky, evp, strategy and corporate relations, was given $2.56 million in total compensation, down slightly from $2.57 million in 2007. Krakowsky received a raise in base salary to $670,000, from $645,000.
Timothy Sompolski, evp, chief human resources officer, received total compensation of $2.23 million, down from $2.42 million in 2007, with an unchanged base salary of $570,000.
Last month, IPG rival Omnicom, in its proxy filing, revealed that its top execs had taken cuts in their overall compensation, given deteriorating industry conditions, corporate layoffs and severance costs. Omnicom CEO John Wren received $2.95 million in total compensation in 2008, a 72 percent drop from the year-earlier period, while company CFO Randall Weisenberger’s 2008 compensation declined to $2.77 million, down from $8.14 million in ’07.
In terms of operating performance in 2008, IPG said it more than doubled its net income applicable to common shareholders to $265 million, up from $131 million the previous year. Revenue grew more than 6 percent to $6.96 billion. IPG also hit its previously stated operating margin goal of 8.5 to 9 percent for the year, achieving a margin of 8.5 percent.
The company’s stock lost almost 50 percent of its value in 2008, however, opening the year’s trading at $7.90 a share and ending it at $3.96.

IPG’s annual shareholders meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on May 28 at the Paley Center for Media, 25 West 52nd St. in New York. Among the actions to be voted upon is a shareholder resolution calling for special shareholder meetings. IPG recommends stockholders vote against that request.

IPG’s proxy statement also disclosed 2008 compensation for outside board members, the majority of whom are retired or running their own advisory firms: As a group, the nine directors were given more than $1.7 million. Presiding director Richard Goldstein, 67, the retired CEO of International Flavors & Fragrances, who has sat on IPG’s board since 2001, received the highest amount at $239,046.
The others are retired senior advisor to Stone Point Capital, Frank Borelli, 73, on the board since 1995, who received $180,796; Reginald K. Brack, 71, retired CEO of Time Inc., on the board since 1996, $176,546; Jocelyn Carter-Miller, 51, president, TechEdVentures, a developer of charter schools and community programs, on the board since 2007, $153,222; Jill M. Considine, 64, senior advisor of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., on the board since 1997, $188,046; H. John Greeniaus, 64, president of G Force, on the board since 2001, $180,707; Mary J. Steele Guilfoile, 55, chairman of MG Advisors, on the board since 2007, $153,222; William T. Kerr, 67, chairman, Meredith Corp., on the board since 2006, $160,796 and David M. Thomas, 60, retired former chairman IMS Health, since 2004, $184,796. Considine is the chair of IPG’s compensation and leadership committee.
In addition, IPG disclosed that outside director J. Philip Samper, who retired as a board member on May 22, 2008 and received $139,796 in 2008 compensation, is entitled to a 15-year annual cash payment pension of $80,000 for his service to IPG’s board.

Related: “Holding Company Numbers Paint Bleak Picture”