General Mills CEO Ken Powell's pay package up 7% year-over-year to US$9.2M in 2011 as his salary, stock and option awards rose

NEW YORK , August 10, 2011 () – General Mills Inc. CEO Ken Powell saw the total value of his pay package rise 7 percent in the food company's most recent fiscal year, according to a regulatory document filed Wednesday.

The company, which is one of the nation's largest food makers, gave Powell compensation valued at $9.2 million in 2011, up from $8.6 million in the prior year as his salary, stock and option awards rose.

Powell's salary increased 9 percent to $1 million. The value of his stock award rose 16 percent to $4.3 million and his options awards rose 9 percent in value to nearly $1.9 million. General Mills provides Powell with other perks, such as retirement contributions and use of the company aircraft. The value of this type of pay held steady.

The only decline for the period came from a 12 percent dip in his incentive pay, which fell to $1.7 million as he met some, but not all, of the goals that the company's board set out for the year.

General Mills, which sells products such as Cheerios cereal and Yoplait yogurt, just wrapped up a challenging year. Like most food companies, it coped with higher costs for everything from ingredients to fuel to get its products to market while some consumers remained cautious about spending in the tough economy.

The company was able to increase its net income during the year nearly 18 percent to $1.8 billion, or $2.70 per share. Adjusting for one-time items, the company's net income rose 8 percent to $2.48 per share. Revenue for the year rose 2 percent to $14.9 billion.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.

General Mills is based in Minneapolis.

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