Among the top paid CEOs in Minnesota last year was Donald Shippar, Allete’s former CEO.
Shippar’s total compensation for 2009: $1,921,814.
That ranked him as 39th in pay among CEOs of MInnesota public companies in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Top 100 List in its July 30 edition.
To be fair, Shippar’s salary was $560,000. It balloons to $1.9 million when you add the $578,325 in stock awards, $589,544 in pension, $44,688 incentive and $149,257 in "other." (Heck, most of us would just be happy with the "other.") His ranking actually slipped from No. 31 in 2008.
But is that much compensation warranted?
"Certainly we do believe our executive compensation is warranted," said Amy Rutledge, an Allete spokeswoman. "It is fair and competitive and designed to attract and retain talented people who are capable of overseeing a company of this size. Executive pay is also tied directly to company performance."
By the way, the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently ranked Allete as the state’s 38th largest company.
As if to keep our outrage in check, the Business Journal seems to agree with Rutledge. The Journal went further than its compensation rankings. It also analyzed the pay with the company performances, determining who was overpaid and underpaid in relation to performance. Shippar placed in the middle of the spectrum, making the "appropriately paid" list.
But how about those at the top of the compensation list? No. 1. James Cracchiolo, CEO of Ameriprise Financial Inc., with a whopping $18.8 million was deemed appropriately compensated. No.2 ranked George Buckley, 3M’s CEO, however, was deemed overpaid, while No. 3 Gregg Steinhafel of Target Corp. was also determined to be appropriately paid.
Shippar retired in April, with Alan Hodnik succeeding him as CEO. The Journal’s roundup of CEO compensation next year should include him.