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Massey CEO's pay increased more than 35 percent in 2007

Apr. 15, 2008 @ 11:59 PM

CHARLESTON -- Massey Energy Co. Chief Executive Don Blankenship's compensation soared more than 35 percent along with the coal mine operator's fortunes last year.

Blankenship's 2007 salary, bonus and perks, including use of a company-owned house, topped $23.7 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Blankenship's compensation totaled more than $17.5 million in 2006.

Massey's profit more than doubled to $94.1 million in 2007, compared with $41 million the previous year. Its stock gained nearly 63 percent over the same period, rising from $21.93 a share to finish 2007 at $35.70.

Still, executive pay experts says that's a big jump.

"We're just not seeing those kind of increases," said James Reda, founder and managing director of compensation and corporate governance consulting firm James F. Reda & Associates. "Flat or down is more like what we're seeing."

The Associated Press calculates executive compensation using salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The AP does not include changes in the present value of pension benefits. As a result, AP figures may differ from totals listed in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC.

Massey, for instance, says Blankenship realized compensation of approximately $8.87 million in 2007.

The bulk of his 2007 compensation came from $16.8 million in stock and options, according to the SEC filing. In 2006, Blankenship received $15.4 million in stock and options.

While Blankenship's $1 million salary was unchanged in 2007, his non-equity incentive compensation jumped to $5.25 million from $514,000 in 2006, according to the filing. Regardless of his compensation, Blankenship is well fixed; the filing lists his deferred compensation at $23.4 million as of Dec. 31.

Massey also gave Blankenship more than $386,000 in perks last year, up from $257,000 in 2006, according to the filing. Among other things, the 2007 perks included the benefit of a home provided by Massey, which the company says was worth more than $129,000 and use of Massey aircraft, valued at $184,000.

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