Ralph Lauren Corp. pushed through the pandemic, continuing to elevate its brand and court younger consumers — and senior executives saw top-dollar pay days last year in the process.
“This year, our teams around the world delivered strong results that exceeded our expectations with growth across every brand, channel, category and region — demonstrating their agility and strength amid an environment that remained challenging,” said executive chairman and chief creative officer Ralph Lauren and chief executive officer Patrice Louvet in a joint letter to shareholders filed with regulatory authorities.
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Sales bounced back from the worst of the pandemic, increasing 41 percent to $6.2 billion for the year ended April 2.
For his efforts, Lauren saw his compensation rise 45.6 percent to $24.9 million. That included $12 million in incentive pay and a salary of $1.8 million. His package also included stock awards that were valued at $11 million, although the full value of share-based compensation will ultimately rely on the company’s Wall Street performance.
Louvet’s package increased 53.8 percent to $18.6 million, including $7.9 million in incentive pay.
The five executives named in the fashion company’s proxy statement logged total compensation of $68.9 million — an increase of 48.1 percent from a year ago.
That top tier included Howard Smith, who was chief commercial officer, but resigned at the end of the year after an investigation found he had “violated the company’s code of business conduct and ethics and other policies.”
The nature of the exact violations was never revealed, beyond the vague reassurance from the firm that they were “unrelated to the company’s financial reporting and business performance.”
A source told WWD when the departure was revealed that the violations were not related to either sex or money, but instead reflected multiple incidents of “misjudgment.”
Still, Smith, a 19-year veteran of the company, was allowed to walk away with a significant pay package.
His compensation rose 28.2 percent last year to $12.3 million, including incentive pay of $3.2 million.
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