Posted on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM
Friday, Oct 5 at 9:08 AM
Securities filings Thursday by Charlotte-based Chiquita Brands International show outgoing CEO Fernando Aguirre will leave the company with more than $4.7 million, as well as an agreement to consult for the company for 12 months, at a salary of $40,000 a month.
The filing Thursday also reveals details of incoming CEO Ed Lonergan’s compensation. Lonergan will receive a base salary of $900,000, with an annual bonus target of the same amount. He also will receive a restricted stock grant of 231,065 shares, worth $1.77 million at Thursday’s closing price of $7.68, and stock options to purchase 1,440,062 shares at next Monday’s closing price. Both of those awards vest over the next two years.
Lonergan, who is being brought in to turn around the iconic banana and salad company, also will be reimbursed for his moving expenses, receive $10,000 a year for financial planning, and reimbursement for legal fees up to $50,000 in connection with negotiating his agreement.
Most recently, Lonergan was CEO of industrial cleaning products company Diversey Holdings for six years, where he led a restructuring of the company. Prior to that, he headed Gillette’s European division, and worked for Procter & Gamble.
Aguirre’s last day as head of Chiquita will be Sunday, with Lonergan assuming the CEO role on Monday.
Aguirre also will continue to receive medical coverage, as well as reimbursement for up to $50,000 in legal fees incurred while negotiating the agreement. He’ll also continue to vest in 134,221 previously awarded shares of Chiquita’s stock, worth about $1 million at Thursday’s price.
Lonergan faces the challenge of reversing years of declining revenue and profits at the company, whose stock also has fallen sharply from its five-year high of $25.77 a share.
The company is in the midst of a restructuring plan designed to save $60 million worth of annual expenses. Chiquita also is wrapping up a move from Cincinnati to uptown Charlotte. The company was lured, in part, with more than $22 million worth of state and local incentives tied to job creation.
Aguirre has said he plans to remain in Charlotte, where he and his wife are building a house.