Chrysler Vice Chairman Robert Lutz supplemented his 1997 pay with more than $13 million by exercising stock options in 1997.
Lutz, 66, who is expected to retire later this year, topped Robert Eaton, Chrysler's chairman, who added $5.3 million to his pay package with stock options.
'As people get closer to retirement, they tend to exercise more options,' said Steve Harris, Chrysler's vice president of communications.
In 1996, Lutz added $5.7 million to his package by exercising stock options. That also was higher than any of the other four top Chrysler executives.
Chrysler's stock options must be exercised within 10 years after the date of grant.
Lutz's total pay package, including long-term incentive payout and income from stock options, was $16.6 million in 1997.
The roster of Chrysler's top five executives will change slightly on next year's proxy statement. Thomas Denomme, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, retired Dec. 31, 1997, and Thomas Stallkamp, Chrysler's president as of Jan. 1, will almost certainly join the top five.