Gap CEO Art Peck’s compensation up 45% in 2016

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It’s nice to be a CEO.

Gap’s chief executive Art Peck received $8.9m in total compensation in fiscal 2016, up 45 per cent from $6.1m the previous year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. And his 2015 pay was up nearly 75 per cent from the prior year.

That comes as Gap shares fell 41 per cent in 2015 and 9.2 per cent last year, as retailers have struggled to fend off competition from online retailers and fast fashion names like H&M and Zara.

Tuesday’s filing showed that Mr Peck’s base salary rose about 2 per cent to $1.3m last year, while his stock and option awards combined increased by about 37 per cent from a year ago. Mr Peck, a company veteran who was appointed chief executive two years ago, also received $917,511 in non-equity incentive plan compensation.

Under his leadership the retailer has shuttered stores, dismissed its creative heads and in the last quarter, returned to sales growth. Gap now expects comparable sales to be flat to up slightly in 2017, after falling 2 per cent last year and 7 per cent the year before that. But sales at Banana Republic continue to suffer and the retailer is benefitting from easier comparisons.

Shareholders have often bristled at sweetened remuneration packages for CEO’s heading companies that are struggling to right the ship. Recently, Canadian drugmaker Valeant gave its CEO Joe Papa $62.7m in compensation for 8 months on the job, while Pearson chief John Fallon’s pay rose 20 per cent last year despite a record loss for the publisher and former owner of the FT.

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