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Molson Coors opened taps for executives

Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn


Soaring profits last year prompted Molson Coors to open the financial taps to reward the brewer's senior executives with large bonus and stock option increases.

Chief executive officer Peter Swinburn, 58, received more than $9.4-million (U.S.) in total compensation, up from $6-million in 2008, according to a proxy circular filed with U.S. regulators.

The British native who has headed Molson Coors since July, 2008, earned $2.1-million in bonus last year, up from $824,000 a year earlier.

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Molson Coors, which reports in U.S. dollars, said Mr. Swinburn's stock-based options and awards more than doubled to $4.9-million from $2.3-billion, while his base salary increased 17 per cent to $875,000.

Molson Coors saw its profit increase by more than 90 per cent to $720.4-million last year despite a 3-per-cent drop in beer volume. It also achieved $92-million in cost savings.

Mr. Swinburn's change in pension value and deferred compensation totalled $1.3-million, while other compensation was $240,000, down from $1.6-million in 2008. The chief executive also sits on the board of MillerCoors, a U.S. joint venture which Molson Coors owns a 42 per cent interest.

Molson Canada president and CEO David Perkins, 56, earned nearly $3.79-million last year, including a $551,000 base salary.

His predecessor, Kevin Boyce, received $5.2-million, including two years base salary and bonuses, after his employment was terminated June 5.

Molson Coors chairman Peter Coors, 63, received $3.76-million in 2009, down from $6.8-million. While his base salary rose slightly to $849,750, Coors received $2.8-million in bonus and stock options. That was down from $4.87-million in 2008.

The Molson Coors board is asking shareholders to support a proposal at its annual meeting June 2 that would add five million class S shares that can be offered to employees as incentives.

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The company said it has few of the 10 million shares remaining that are used to attract, retain and motivate employees, directors and third-party service providers.


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