The Fortunate 50: Top execs in region averaged $6.7 million in 2012

But that's 7.5 percent less compensation than 2011

Mylan's Robert J. Coury is the highest-paid executive at public companies based in the Tri-State region for the third year in a row, easily outdistancing PPG Industries' Charles E. Bunch, who finished second.

The Cecil generic drugmaker provided Mr. Coury with compensation valued at $28 million last year, up 31 percent from the previous year. That was about $10 million more than Mr. Bunch's $17.9 million pay package. Consol Energy's J. Brett Harvey finished third at $17.7 million while H.J. Heinz's William R. Johnson, who finished second to Mr. Coury last year, dropped to fourth with compensation of $16.2 million.

The lowest-paid member of the Post-Gazette's Fortunate 50 was Wesco International executive Stephen A. Van Oss, who was paid $3.3 million. That's the same amount of pay it took to make last year's list.


Facts and figures for the Fortunate 50

The Fortunate 50 includes two women, down from three a year ago. Mylan's Heather Bresch repeated as the highest-paid female executive, receiving $10 million. That was enough to place her ninth on the list. The other female was U.S. Steel's Gretchen R. Haggerty, who was paid $3.6 million.

The average Fortunate 50 member received $6.7 million in compensation, 7.5 percent less than last year's average executive on the list.

By comparison, CEO pay increased 1.2 percent at a group of 270 S&P 1500 companies that were analyzed by Towers Watson, a consulting firm. The most recent U.S. Census figures show the nation's median household income fell 1.5 percent in 2011.

Collectively, the Fortunate 50 received compensation valued at $336.2 million. The 10 highest-paid executives took home more than 40 percent of that total.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, the $336.2 million payout is roughly $6 million more than it would take to pay 6,111 teachers for a year based on the national average salary of $54,000. It is also comparable to the amount of business tax cuts that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett proposed in his budget message.

Twenty-two companies are represented on the Fortunate 50, but four accounted for nearly 40 percent of the executives. PNC Financial Services Group placed six executives, led by former chairman and CEO James E. Rohr, who retired in April. He finished 11th at $8.9 million.

H.J. Heinz, which is in the process of being acquired by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, placed five executives. Mylan and Federated Investors each placed four, with three Mylan executives finishing in the top 10.

Newcomers on the list include David J. Burns of ExOne Co., a North Huntingdon 3-D printing concern that went public in February. Most of his $3.5 million pay package came in the form of $3.3 million in nonequity incentives.

Total compensation in the Fortunate 50 survey includes salary, bonus, stock and nonstock incentives, pension plan improvements and other compensation provided to executives during their company's most recently completed fiscal year.

The rankings do not include gains that executives realized by exercising stock options awarded in prior years, gains that in some cases exceeded the value of their annual pay. The stock market's recovery since the 2008 financial crisis, which some market analysts say has been fueled primarily by the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy, helped make the options payouts possible.

Dick's Sporting Goods chief executive Edward W. Stack received $137 million from cashing in stock options last year, more than 12 times his 2012 pay of $10.8 million. The $137 million also is more than the 2012 compensation of the nine highest-paid executives on the Fortunate 50.

Other Fortunate 50 members who realized more from stock options than they did from their pay packages last year include: GNC's Joseph Fortunato ($43.6 million from options); Mr. Coury ($40.9 million); James Cashman of Ansys ($18 million); and American Eagle Outfitters' Roger S. Markfield ($12.2 million).

Sixteen executives made the list even though their shareholders suffered losses on their investment over the last five years.

The worst-performing company on the list over that period was U.S. Steel, whose stockholders suffered average annual losses of 27 percent over the period. In addition to Ms. Haggerty, U.S. Steel's John Surma and Mario Longhi are members of the Fortunate 50.

Wabtec, whose 20.6 percent annual percentage return over the last five years made it the company with the best performing stock represented in the Fortunate 50, placed one executive on the list: Albert J. Neupaver, who had compensation of $5.8 million.

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Len Boselovic: or 412-263-1941. First Published May 19, 2013 4:00 AM


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