Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lazaran's Compensation Less Than Rowland's

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lazaran's Compensation Less Than Rowland's

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Basch, Times-Union business writer

Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.'s top executives have historically made less money than the CEOs of other comparably sized corporations. But new Winn-Dixie President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Lazaran is making even less than his predecessor.

Lazaran, who succeeded Al Rowland as CEO at the start of Winn-Dixie's fiscal year on June 26, will be paid a base salary of $750,000 this year, according to an employment agreement letter attached to Winn-Dixie's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Winn-Dixie has not yet filed its proxy statement, which will give more details on compensation for top executives. But according last year's proxy, Rowland earned a base salary of $825,000 in the fiscal year that ended in June 2002.

Lazaran, like Rowland, will be entitled to bonuses that could significantly raise his annual pay. Rowland received a $627,000 bonus in fiscal 2002.

Lazaran also received options to buy 375,000 shares of Winn-Dixie stock, which could be lucrative if the stock rises. But after the company lowered its forecast for 2004 earnings two weeks ago, Winn-Dixie's stock fell to a 15-year low. So those options are not worth anything right now.

In comparison to Winn-Dixie's pay packages, Fortune magazine reported in April that the median compensation for a CEO at the 100 largest U.S. corporations was $13.2 million in 2002. Winn-Dixie ranked 149th on the Fortune 500 list.

Nelnet IPO

Nelnet Inc., a Nebraska-based student loan company that has a large servicing and technology operation in Jacksonville, filed a registration statement last week with the SEC for an initial public offering of up to $200 million in stock.

Nelnet has employed about 500 people in Jacksonville and announced plans in April to hire 100 more. The company has offices in 14 cities and, according to its SEC filing, it leases more office space in Jacksonville (116,828 square feet) than anywhere else, including its headquarters in Lincoln.

Nelnet originated and acquired $1.8 billion in student loans in the first half of 2003 and had a servicing portfolio of $17. …

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