- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - The chief executive of Corning Inc., a specialty glass and ceramics maker, received total compensation valued at $7.54 million in 2008, almost 19 percent lower than in the previous year, according to a regulatory filing made Monday.

Wendell Weeks drew a base salary of $1.03 million, $301,584 in performance incentives, and other perks worth $397,905 that included the use of company aircraft.

He also received stock and option awards worth $5.81 million on the day they were granted, an analysis of a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed. But $3 million of that is tied to Corning’s performance this year and nearly $1.5 million came in stock options that have declined in value.

His compensation in 2007 was valued at $9.29 million.

Corning is the world’s largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass for televisions, computers and a myriad of other flat-screen products. An abrupt slowdown last fall in LCD sales, its biggest business by far, forced the company in January to eliminate 3,500 jobs, or 13 percent of its payroll.

The bulk of Weeks’ pay was in the form of options and restricted stock valued at $4.33 million when they were granted in December, but $3.06 million is a performance award tied to Corning’s progress in 2009.

The decline of Corning’s stock has diminished the value of an additional $1.48 million in grants issued to Weeks in early 2008. They give him the right to buy Corning shares for between $23.37 and $24.61 each, while the current stock price is $11.62.

His perks, or all other compensation received, rose 90 percent from 2007, chiefly because of a jump in personal security costs. But his non-equity incentive plan compensation dropped 85 percent.

Weeks, 49, who also holds the title of chairman, received a regularly scheduled salary increase of 4 percent in 2008, Corning said in a proxy statement. It will hold its annual stockholders’ meeting on April 30.

Corning said the base salary of its five most highly compensated executive officers accounted for approximately 12 percent to 19 percent of the total direct target compensation, while incentives accounted for 81 percent to 88 percent of the total.

The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives’ salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits and sometimes differ from the totals released by the companies.

Weeks became CEO in April 2005, succeeding James Houghton, the patriarch of the company that his great-great-grandfather founded in 1851. The company also makes optical fiber and cable and auto-pollution filters.

In 2008, the company earned $5.26 billion, or $3.32 a share, up from $2.15 billion, or $1.34 a share, in 2007. Sales edged up to $5.95 billion from $5.86 billion the previous year.


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