Herbalife’s top executive had total compensation drop in 2021; former chairman, CEO plans return to board | Local

The chairman and chief executive of Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. received a 21.3% bump in base salary, but lower incentive pay, for fiscal 2021, the company reported in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

Herbalife said separately Wednesday that retired chairman and chief executive Michael Johnson has agreed to be a non-independent nominee to its board of directors.

Herbalife has its East Coast manufacturing hub in Winston-Salem with at least 750 employees.

John Agwunobi succeeded Johnson in both roles in 2020. Johnson remains a large individual investor in the company at 244,160 shares as of Wednesday.

Agwunobi’s total compensation was down 3.3% to just under $7 million.

He was paid $1 million in base salary for 2021. His incentive pay dropped by 18.6% to $1.46 million. He received stock awards valued at just under $4.5 million on the date they were awarded.

All other compensation was $38,584, which consisted of a $24,850 contribution to a senior executive deferred compensation plan, $13,050 in a company match of 401(k) contributions, and $684 in company-paid life insurance premiums.

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For fiscal 2021, Herbalife reported $447.2 million in net income, up 20% over fiscal 2020. Adjusted net income was $518 million, up 3.7%.

John DeSimone, Herbalife’s president, received a 3% raise in base salary to $695,000, a 36.7% decline in incentive pay to $675,613, and a 20.5% decrease in total compensation to $3.65 million.

David Pezzullo, senior operations adviser, had a 19.2% reduction in base salary to $456,346, incentive pay of $407,697 and total compensation of $2.38 million.

Alan Hoffman, executive vice president of global corporate affairs, was paid $637,570 in base salary, $464,839 in incentive play and $2.13 million in total compensation.

Mark Schissel, chief operating officer, was paid $494,960 in base salary, $389,215 in incentive pay and $2 million in total compensation.

Alexander Amezquita, chief financial officer, was paid $480,769 in base salary, $344,897 in incentive pay and $1.45 million in total compensation.

Herbalife will hold its annual shareholders meeting at 11:30 a.m. April 27. There are no shareholder proposals on the agenda.


Johnson return

Johnson served as chief executive from 2003 to 2017 and in an interim role from 2019 to 2020. He was chairman from 2007 to 2020

If Johnson is approved by shareholders, the board would consist of 10 members.

The company said there are plans to add an 11th board member.

It also plans to fill the five board vacancies created when Icahn Enterprises Inc., an affiliate of billionaire hedge-fund investor Carl Icahn, sold $600 million worth of stock back to Herbalife in May that represented his remaining 12.49 million shares in the company.

At the height of Icahn’s investment in Herbalife, he owned a 23.8% stake, or 35.23 million shares, following a 2-for-1 stock split in May 2018. As part of that ownership, Icahn gained several seats on Herbalife’s board.

Icahn won a high-profile test of wills with fellow billionaire hedge-fund investor Bill Ackman that began in December 2012 — the same day Herbalife committed to opening the Winston-Salem plant. Ackman accused the company of operating as a pyramid scheme.

“Since (Michael’s) departure as Chairman and CEO, he has been a mentor to our management team,” Agwunobi said in a statement.

“His deep understanding of the company, our products, our independent distributors and their customers will be invaluable to the board as we focus on driving future growth, enhancing our governance and creating additional shareholder value.”

Johnson said that the executive team “has done a tremendous job growing the business through the pandemic and the challenges and opportunities of the last couple of years. I’m thrilled to support their vision and strategy for future success.”

Herbalife reported that for fiscal 2020, Johnson was paid $337,553 in salary and $54,794 in all other compensation for total compensation of $392,317.

In his last full year in both roles, Johnson was paid $873,692 in salary for 2019, $844,795 in incentive pay and total compensation of $2.08 million.

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