AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest dealership group, trimmed pay packages slightly for its top two executives in 2011.
CEO Mike Jackson earned total compensation of $6.43 million last year, down from $6.77 million in 2010. Jackson's salary of $1.15 million was unchanged, but his bonus dropped from $2.86 million to $1.51 million. The value of stock option awards to Jackson rose to $3.58 million, an increase of about $1 million.
COO Michael Maroone earned total compensation of $5.03 million in 2011, down from $5.2 million the previous year. Maroone's salary of $1 million was unchanged. His bonus dropped from $1.87 million to $982,200. The value of stock option awards to Maroone rose to $2.86 million, an increase of about $800,000.
The 2011 compensation levels, which also include items such as aircraft and vehicle allowances, were disclosed in AutoNation's proxy statement released on Monday.
Despite a significant earnings increase in 2011, AutoNation cut executive bonuses after the company fell just short of meeting one of two metrics guiding its executive incentive plan.
For its adjusted operating income per basic share, the company set a target of $3.65. It achieved $3.59, still a significant increase. In 2010, AutoNation targeted $2.24 and achieved $2.84 for that same metric.
AutoNation topped the target set for the other incentive plan metric of adjusted operating income as a percentage of gross margin. The company said adjusted operating income in 2011 totaled 24.4 percent of gross margin, higher than the target of 23.5 percent.
Said AutoNation spokesman Marc Cannon: "Every year we raise the benchmark, and we continue to challenge ourselves to do better."