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Brightpoint cuts CEO's pay by almost 35 percent

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Robert J. Laikin, chairman and CEO of locally based cell phone distributor Brightpoint Inc., saw his total compensation fall 34.8 percent in 2009, to $2.2 million, according to the company’s annual proxy statement. Several members of his management team also took substantial pay cuts.

Laikin, 46, who has led Brightpoint since 1994, earned $1.2 million less than in 2008, according to the proxy filed last week. Brightpoint’s revenue slid from $4.6 billion to $3.2 billion last year, but its bottom line swung from a $342.1 million net loss to a $26.6 million profit.

Brightpoint’s shares soared in 2009, growing 54.4 percent to $7.35.

The majority of Laikin’s pay was in restricted stock worth $1.3 million. He also earned a $900,000 base salary. The lack of a performance-based bonus accounted for most of Laikin’s pay cut.

In February 2009, the Brightpoint board's compensation committee determined that performance-based cash bonuses for top executives were not appropriate, due to the global economic downturn. Laikin had earned a $450,000 performance-based bonus in 2008 and $800,000 in 2007.

Pay for other top executives:

—Co-Chief Operating Officer and Americas Division President J. Mark Howell earned $1.2 million, down 7.1 percent.

—Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Anthony Boor earned $1 million, down 37.7 percent.

—General Counsel Steven E. Fivel earned $848,836, down 18.9 percent.

—Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa President R. Bruce Thomlinson earned $1.1 million, down 9.9 percent.

—Chief Information Officer John Alexander Du Plessis Currie earned $978,022, down 19.6 percent.

—Former co-Chief Operating Officer and International Operations President Michael Koehn-Milland earned $983,202, down 5.6 percent.

IBJ uses the Associated Press formula to calculate executive pay. It gauges the value of compensation such as stock and options grants at the time they are awarded, not the time they are cashed in.

Brightpoint spent a total of $1.1 million last year on board compensation for its 10 independent directors, 21.2 percent less than the $1.4 million it spent in 2008.

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