IPG CEO Michael Roth Gets 10% Pay Raise For 2014 To Nearly $13 Million

Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth earned a 10% raise in total compensation last year to almost $13 million, according to the company’s just-issued 2015 proxy materials. 

Roth’s pay hike reflected the company’s solid financial performance for the year, including 5.5% organic revenue growth and a 56% increase in net income. Margin targets were also met. 

Word of Roth’s 2014 payday followed word earlier in the week that Omnicom CEO John Wren earned a 33% gain in total compensation for the same period.  

At Interpublic, the second-highest-paid executive was CFO Frank Mergenthaler, whose total compensation for 2014 was about $5.4 million, up 9% from 2013. 



For both Roth and Mergenthaler, most of their compensation came from stock awards and a non-equity incentive compensation plan. Roth received a base salary of $1.4 million, while Mergenthaler’s base pay was $1 million. 

Third ranked on the IPG pay scale was Phillippe Krakowsky, whose total compensation was nearly $4.6 million, followed by General Counsel Andrew Bonzani who received nearly $2.3 million. Controller Christopher Carroll received close to $1.6 million. 

IPG indicated that it will hold its annual meeting in New York on May 21. There are no resolutions proposed by shareholders scheduled for this year’s meeting, but attendees will vote on a slate of management-backed board directors. That includes three new independent directors that the company and activist investor Elliott Management agreed to as part of an agreement the firms reached in February to ward off a proxy fight by Elliott. 

Elliott, with a 4.7% stake in the company's common stock (and another 2.2% in derivative agreements that lack voting rights or dispositive power) has been clamoring for IPG to improve profitability.

It bought most of its stake in the company last spring, indicating then that it felt IPG could do better at maximizing shareholder value. Last fall, Elliott hinted that it might launch a proxy fight for control of the company before coming to terms that also include the establishment of a new finance committee, as well as a “standstill” provision that limits the amount of IPG stock Elliott can buy up.


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