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Harley-Davidson CEO Got $6.4M Pay Package

CEO Keith E. Wandell received compensation valued at about $6.4 million in 2010, a 1 percent bump from 2009, according to an Associated Press review of data.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Harley-Davidson Inc. CEO Keith E. Wandell received compensation valued at about $6.4 million in 2010, a 1 percent bump over what he got the year before, according to an Associated Press review of data filed with regulators.

Wandell, who took over as CEO of the motorcycle maker part way through 2009, received hefty increases to his salary, performance related cash incentive and perks, but wasn't paid a bonus and saw his stock and option awards reduced sharply.

It all worked out to put the executive $52,918 ahead of his 2009 pay package.

Still, Wandell's compensation in 2009 covered only eight months on the job, not a full year.

For 2010, Wandell received a base salary of $975,037, up 50 percent from $650,025 the year before, according to documents filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He also received stock and option awards valued at $3.02 million combined, down from $4.91 million a year earlier.

In addition, he was awarded $2.3 million in performance-based cash, while a year earlier he received none.

However, Wandell did not receive a bonus for 2010, while his bonus in 2009 amounted to $780,030.

Harley-Davidson gave Wandell perks valued at $83,490 in the latest year, nearly four times more than what he received in 2009.

The perks package was comprised of cash payments totaling $29,600 in lieu of receiving certain perks and personal benefits; $16,201 in contributions to a deferred compensation plan; $12,904 in life insurance premiums; and unspecified perks totaling $10,818.

The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value that the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, making the AP total different in most cases than the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Before taking over Harley, Wandell, 61, was chief operating officer of the car battery and building ventilation systems maker Johnson Controls Inc. He replaced James L. Ziemer, who retired after 40 years with Harley-Davidson and four years as its CEO.

In the filing, the company credited its management for improving the motorcycle maker's financial performance last year, citing efforts to cut costs and improve product development, manufacturing and other business operations.

The Milwaukee-based company has seen sales tumble in recent years as the economy slowed and consumers put off buying its high-end bikes.

Last year, its worldwide motorcycle sales dropped 8.5 percent compared with 2009, with the company selling 222,110 Harley-Davidsons. The company shipped 210,494 cycles, 5.6 percent fewer than the previous year.

While cars and truck sales have rebounded, experts say lack of consumer confidence among the prime group of motorcycle buyers, people 20 to 40 years old, continues to dampen sales.

That age group also has faced tighter credit requirements, contributing to the motorcycle slump.

Still, Harley-Davidson managed to reverse its 2009 full-year loss, posting a profit of $146.5 million, or 62 cents per share, for 2010. The company lost $55.1 million, or 24 cents per share, in 2009.

Harley-Davidson's stock price also improved in 2010, climbing 38 percent to $34.67 at the end of the year from $25.20 at the close of 2009.
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