CEO Noel White Tyson Foods’ Top Earner

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CEO Noel White of Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale was the company’s highest compensated executive in fiscal 2019.

White earned a little less than $10.4 million in 2019, his first full year since being promoted to CEO in September 2018, according to a proxy Tyson filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. White’s salary was $1.15 million, up from $862,000 the previous year when he was group president of beef, pork and international.

White also received $4.45 million in stock awards, $1.38 million in stock options and $1.37 million in incentives. White received $196,000 in compensation for the use of the company’s private aircraft and event tickets.

White’s total compensation was measured at 283-to-1 compared to the median pay of Tyson’s employees. The company reported that figure as $36,681.

White’s total compensation was approximately $77,000 more than John Tyson’s. Tyson, the chairman of the board and grandson of the company founder, earned slightly more than $10.3 million, up from $9.99 million a year ago.

John Tyson’s compensation included: salary of $1.06 million, up slightly from $1.04 million a year ago; $4.7 million in stock awards, up from $4.5 million; and stock options and incentives of $2.7 million, up from $2.5 million.

John Tyson’s use of company aircraft and event tickets was valued at $1.39 million.

Another big earner was Donnie King, who rejoined the company in January when he was named president of the company’s international division. King had been at Tyson since 1982 and was president of its North America operations when he left in February 2017 when then-CEO Tom Hayes reshuffled Tyson’s top ranks.

King earned total compensation of $6.3 million, which included more than $3.7 million in stock awards. King’s salary was $577,000 and he also received a signing bonus of $387,000.

King earned total compensation of $7.8 million in 2016, previously his last full year with Tyson. His base salary in 2016 was $856,946.

Other executives and their compensation:

  • Sally Grimes, president of prepared foods: total compensation of $4.1 million, up from $3.98 million in 2018. Includes salary of $848,000, up from $786,000, $1.7 million in stock awards, $525,000 in stock options and $686,000 in incentives. Grimes announced in February she was leaving Tyson, which named Chief Marketing Officer Noelle O’Mara as her replacement.

  • Stewart Glendinning, CFO: total compensation of $3.7 million, down from $7.58 million a year ago, when he received a $2.7 million signing bonus to join the company. 2019 compensation includes salary of $777,000, up from $581,000, stock awards of $1.5 million, stock options of $475,000 and incentives of $660,000.

  • Scott Spradley, chief technology officer: total compensation of $3.67 million. Includes salary $578,500, a signing bonus of $1.1 million and $1 million in stock awards. Spradley joined Tyson in June 2017 but was not a named executive officer until this fiscal year

Tyson Foods also reported that its shareholders meeting would be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 6 at its original downtown headquarters at 319 E. Emma Ave. Shareholders will vote on the company’s 12-person board of directors, to ratify PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company’s independent accounting firm and to vote on four shareholders’ proposals.

Three of the proposals call for Tyson to issue reports on deforestation, lobbying and human rights, as those are affected by the company’s business. The fourth proposal calls for senior executives to increase the percentage of their share retention.

Tyson’s board of directors opposes each proposal.