The two co-chief executives at AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest dealership group, got hefty raises last year.
H. Wayne Huizenga, who was previously paid only in stock options, received a $1 million salary in 1998. He was also given the option to buy 750,000 shares of stock with an exercise price of $22 a share.
The stock has been trading in the range of $12 to $13 a share.
Huizenga received 1.5 million shares in options in 1997.
In the past year, Steve Berrard's salary almost tripled and his bonus quadrupled. Berrard was paid a $1 million salary in 1998, up from $369,673 in 1997 and $2,292 in 1996. His bonus was $400,000 in 1998, compared with $100,000 in 1997. Berrard also received options for 450,000 shares with an exercise price of $22 a share.
AutoNation's 1998 executive compensation pales in comparison with the pay for the chief executives of major auto manufacturers.
For example, Jack Smith, chairman of General Motors, received $8.8 million last year in salary, bonuses, stock options and other income. Alex Trotman, who was chairman of Ford Motor Co. through December, received $69.1 million in total compensation last year.
AutoNation spokesman Oscar Suris said the raises bring the two chief executives' compensation in line with executives of other large companies.
Said Suris: 'We have gone from being nowhere on the Fortune 500 list to being No. 83.'