Ecolab DEF 14A 2009
Documents found in this filing:
Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of
NOTICE OF 2009
FOR MAY 8, 2009
March 23, 2009
Dear Fellow Stockholder:
You are cordially invited to join us for our Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2009, in the McKnight Theatre of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. The Notice of Annual Meeting and the Proxy Statement that follow describe the business to be conducted at our Annual Meeting. We urge you to read both carefully.
We hope you plan to attend our Annual Meeting. However, if you will not be able to join us, we encourage you to exercise your right as a stockholder and vote. Please sign, date and promptly return the accompanying proxy card, or make use of either our telephone or Internet voting services. Stockholders not in attendance may listen to a broadcast of the meeting on the Internet. Webcast instructions will be available on-line at www.ecolab.com/investor.
M. Baker, Jr.
YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT!
Your vote is a valuable part of the investment made in our Company, and is the best way to influence corporate governance and decision-making. Please take time to read the enclosed materials and vote!
Whether or not you plan to attend the meeting, please complete the accompanying proxy and return it in the enclosed envelope. Or, you may vote by telephone or the Internet. If you attend the meeting, you may vote your shares in person even though you have previously returned your proxy by mail, telephone or the Internet.
PLEASE REFER TO THE ACCOMPANYING MATERIALS FOR VOTING INSTRUCTIONS.
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To the Stockholders of Ecolab Inc.:
The Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Ecolab Inc. will be held on Friday, May 8, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., in the McKnight Theatre of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102, for the following purposes (which are more fully explained in the Proxy Statement):
Our Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on March 10, 2009 as the record date for the determination of stockholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the meeting.
March 23, 2009
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The Board of Directors of Ecolab Inc. is using this Proxy Statement to solicit proxies from the holders of Ecolab Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share ("Common Stock"), for use at the 2009 Annual Meeting of Ecolab Stockholders. We are first mailing this Proxy Statement and accompanying form of proxy to Ecolab Stockholders on or about March 23, 2009.
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Quorum A quorum of stockholders is necessary to hold a valid meeting. The presence in person or by proxy at the meeting of holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Common Stock entitled to vote at the meeting is a quorum. Abstentions and broker non-votes count as present for establishing a quorum. Common Stock held by Ecolab in our treasury does not count toward a quorum.
Voting instructions are included on your proxy card. If you properly complete your proxy and submit it to us in time to be tabulated, one of the individuals named as your proxy will vote your Common Stock as you have directed. You may vote for or against each proposal, or you may abstain from voting on a proposal. With respect to the election of directors, you may vote for or against each nominee, or you may abstain from voting on the election of one or more nominees.
Proposal 1: Election of Directors Each nominee will be elected by a majority of the votes cast in uncontested elections. We currently expect that the election of directors at our meeting will be uncontested. Under the majority voting standard, a nominee must receive a number of "FOR" votes that exceeds 50% of the votes cast with respect to that director's election. Votes cast with respect to a nominee include votes FOR or AGAINST a nominee and exclude abstentions.
In a contested election, directors will be elected by a plurality vote. A contested election is an election in which the number of candidates for election as directors exceeds the number of directors to be elected. Under the plurality standard, the three nominees receiving the most number of "FOR" votes will be elected as directors.
If an uncontested nominee for director does not receive an affirmative majority of "FOR" votes, he or she will be required to promptly offer his or her resignation to the Board's independent Governance Committee. That committee will then make a recommendation to the Board as to whether the offered resignation should be accepted or rejected, or whether other action should be taken. The Board will publicly announce its decision regarding the offered resignation and the rationale behind it within 90 days after the election results have been certified. Any director who offered his or her resignation will not be permitted to vote on the recommendation of the Governance Committee or the Board's decision with respect to his or her resignation.
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It is intended that proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will (unless otherwise directed) be voted FOR the election of the three nominees named in this Proxy Statement. If, for any reason, any nominee becomes unavailable for election prior to our Annual Meeting, the proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will be voted FOR such substituted nominee as is selected by our Board of Directors, or our Board of Directors, at its option, may reduce the number of directors to constitute the entire Board.
Proposal 2: Ratification of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm The affirmative vote of a majority of the total votes cast by holders of shares present in person or represented by proxy at the Annual Meeting and entitled to vote will constitute ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Therefore, abstentions and broker non-votes do not count as votes either FOR or AGAINST ratification of the appointment. Unless a contrary choice is specified, proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will be voted FOR ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Proposal 3: Re-approval of the Ecolab Inc. Management Performance Incentive Plan, as amended The affirmative vote of a majority of the total votes cast by holders of Common Stock present in person or represented by proxy at our Annual Meeting and entitled to vote is necessary for re-approval of the Ecolab Inc. Management Performance Incentive Plan, as amended. Therefore, abstentions and broker non-votes do not count as votes either FOR or AGAINST re-approval of the Plan. Unless a contrary choice is specified, proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will be voted FOR re-approval of the Ecolab Inc. Management Performance Incentive Plan, as amended.
Proposal 4: Stockholder Proposal to Eliminate Classification of Terms of the Board of Directors The affirmative vote of a majority of the total votes cast by holders of shares present in person or represented by proxy at the Annual Meeting and entitled to vote will constitute approval of the stockholder proposal to eliminate classification of terms of the Board of Directors. Therefore, abstentions and broker non-votes do not count as votes either FOR or AGAINST the proposal. Unless a contrary choice is specified, proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will be voted AGAINST approval of the stockholder proposal to eliminate classification of terms of the Board of Directors.
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Communications with Directors Our stakeholders and other interested parties, including our stockholders and employees, can send substantive communications to our Board using the following methods published on our website at www.ecolab.com/investor/governance:
All substantive communications regarding governance matters or potential accounting, control or auditing irregularities are promptly relayed or brought to the attention of the Presiding Director or Chair of the Audit Committee following review by our management. Communications not requiring the substantive attention of our Board, such as employment inquiries, sales solicitations, questions about our products and other such matters, are handled directly by our management. In such instances, we respond to the communicating party on behalf of the Board. Nonetheless, our management periodically updates the Board on all of the on-line communications received, whether or not our management believes they are substantive. In addition to on-line communications, interested parties may direct correspondence to our Board of Directors, our Board Committees or to individual directors at our headquarters address, repeated at the top of page 1 of this Proxy Statement.
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Any stockholder nomination for directors must comply with the advance notice procedures set forth in Article II, Section 3 of our By-Laws. Under our By-Laws, to be in proper written form, the stockholder's notice to our Corporate Secretary must set forth as to each person whom the stockholder proposes to nominate for election as a director (i) the name, age, business address, residence address and record address of the person, (ii) the principal occupation or employment of the person, (iii) the number of shares owned beneficially or of record by the person, (iv) any information relating to the person that would be required to be disclosed in a proxy statement or other filings required to be made in connection with solicitations of proxies for election of directors pursuant to Section 14 of the "Exchange Act", and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, (v) the nominee holder for, and number of, shares owned beneficially but not of record by the person, (vi) whether and the extent to which any hedging or other transaction or series of transactions has been entered into by or on behalf of, has been made, the or intent of which is to mitigate loss to or manage risk or benefit of share price changes for, or to increase or decrease the voting power of, the person with respect to any share of stock of the Corporation, (vii) to the extent known, the name and address of any other stockholder supporting the nominee for election or reelection as a director on the date of such stockholder's notice, (viii) a description of all arrangements or understandings between or among persons pursuant to which the nomination(s) are to be made by the stockholder and (ix) a representation that the stockholder intends to appear in person or by proxy at the meeting to nominate the persons named in its notice. Any ownership information shall be supplemented by the stockholder giving the notice not later than ten (10) days after the record date for the meeting as of the record date. The notice must be accompanied by a written consent of the proposed nominee to being named as a nominee and to serve as a director if elected. No person shall be eligible for election as a director of the Company unless nominated in accordance with the foregoing procedures. This summary is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of our By-Laws, which can be found on our website at www.ecolab.com/investor/governance.
In terms of policies for composition of the Board generally, and qualifications for director nominees specifically, we refer you to our Corporate Governance Principles, which can be found on our website at www.ecolab.com/investor/governance. Under these provisions, for example:
Other criteria relevant to service as a director of our Company are also set forth in our Corporate Governance Principles.
All directors are encouraged to submit to the Governance Committee the name of any person deemed qualified to serve on the Board, together with information on the candidate's qualifications. The Governance Committee screens and submits to the full Board the names
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and biographical information of those persons considered by the Committee to be viable candidates for election as directors. The same evaluation process and criteria are used by the Committee (i) for recommendations for director candidates submitted by stockholders in accordance with our Restated Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws, and (ii) for recommendations submitted by any other source, such as a director or a third-party search firm.
Certain Beneficial Owners The following table sets forth information as to entities which have reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") or have advised us that they are a "beneficial owner," as defined by the SEC's rules and regulations, of more than 5% of our outstanding Common Stock.
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Corporate Governance Materials and Code of Conduct Our Company is managed under the overall direction of our Board of Directors for the benefit of all stockholders. Written materials concerning policies of our Board of Directors, corporate governance principles and corporate ethics practices, including our Code of Conduct, are available on our website at www.ecolab.com/investor/governance.
Copies of our corporate governance materials, including the Code of Conduct, as last amended in 1995 and supplemented by our Code of Ethics for Senior Officers and Finance Associates adopted in 2003, will be mailed free of charge to any stockholder upon request to the Corporate Secretary at our headquarters in Saint Paul. We intend to promptly disclose on our website should there be any amendments to, or waivers by the Board of Directors of, the Code of Conduct or the Code of Ethics for Senior Officers and Finance Associates.
The Board has appointed a Presiding Director to lead non-management directors during executive sessions of the Board. Currently, the Chair of the Governance Committee, Jerry W. Levin, serves as the Presiding Director.
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directors, as the full Board was invited to participate) met to discuss the financial information contained in the fourth quarter and full year 2008 earnings announcement prior to dissemination of that press release and it being furnished to the SEC on a Form 8-K in February 2009. The Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 was discussed by the Committee at its regularly scheduled February 2009 meeting.
The Committee fulfills, and assists the Board of Directors' oversight of, its responsibilities to monitor (i) the quality and integrity of our consolidated financial statements and management's financial control of operations; (ii) the qualifications, independence and performance of the independent accountants; (iii) the role and performance of the internal audit function; and (iv) our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Committee meets regularly and privately with our management and internal auditors, and with our independent registered public accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
A report of the Audit Committee is found under the heading "Audit Committee Report" at page 49.
The Board of Directors has determined that each member of the Audit Committee is "independent" and meets the independence and other requirements of Sections 303A.02 and 303A.07(a) of the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange, and Rule 10A-3 under the Exchange Act, as well as of our Board. The Board has determined that each member of the Committee is an "audit committee financial expert" under the SEC's rules and should be so designated. Further, the Board has determined, in its business judgment, that each member of the Committee has "accounting and related financial management expertise" and is "financially literate" under the New York Stock Exchange's listing standards.
To assist the Committee in the design and review of the executive and director compensation programs, the Board has selected and retained Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc., an independent compensation consulting firm, which reports directly to the Committee. As requested from time to time on behalf of the Committee, Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. provides the Committee with market data regarding various components of executive and director compensation, reviews methodology on which compensation is based and designed, and informs the Committee of market trends in executive and director compensation. Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. performs no services for us other than those performed on behalf of the Committee. A report by the Committee is located on page 23 of this Proxy Statement.
The Board of Directors has determined that each member of the Compensation Committee meets the independence requirements of the SEC (including Rule 16b-3), the New York Stock Exchange, Section 162(m) of the IRS Code and of our Board.
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The Board of Directors has determined that each member of the Governance Committee meets the "independence" requirements of the SEC, the New York Stock Exchange and of our Board.
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For 2008, we made the following changes to our compensation program for non-employee directors to bring total annual compensation to market median: (1) increased the annual cash retainer from $60,000 to $70,000; (2) increased the stock unit award from $30,000 to $35,000; (3) increased the respective committee chair fees to market median; and (4) added an annual retainer for non-chair members of the Audit Committee.
As of December 31, 2008, the aggregate number of stock units held by each non-employee director named in the table above is as follows: Ms. Beck, 2,177; Mr. Biller, 23,647; Mr. De Schutter, 3,544; Mr. Grundhofer, 26,026; Mr. Hamelmann, 0; Mr. Johnson, 30,277; Mr. Levin, 23,307; Mr. Lumpkins, 16,959; Ms. Pritchard, 9,390; Mr. Rorsted, 0; Mr. Van Bylen, 0; and Mr. Zillmer, 1,953. Mr. Johnson also had a deferred cash balance of $39,211 as of December 31, 2008.
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and expected dividend yield. The specific assumptions used in the valuation of these options is summarized in the table below:
The grant date fair value of the stock options granted May 2, 2008 to non-employee directors are as follows: Ms. Beck, $59,550; and $50,022 to Ms. Pritchard and Messrs. Biller, De Schutter, Grundhofer, Hamelmann, Johnson, Levin, Lumpkins, Rorsted, Van Bylen and Zillmer.
As of December 31, 2008, the aggregate number of stock options held by each director named in the table above is as follows: Ms. Beck, 5,000; Mr. Biller, 65,049; Mr. De Schutter, 29,250; Mr. Grundhofer, 61,967; Mr. Hamelmann, 43,200; Mr. Johnson, 57,429; Mr. Levin, 62,647; Mr. Lumpkins, 90,708; Ms. Pritchard, 29,250; Mr. Rorsted, 12,600; Mr. Van Bylen, 5,100; and Mr. Zillmer, 13,300.
Chairs of the Board's Compensation and Finance Committees each received an additional fee of $10,000 per year. The Chair of the Governance Committee, in his capacity as Presiding Director, received $15,000. The Chair of the Audit Committee received $15,000 per annum and other Audit Committee members received $7,500 each. All reasonable travel, telephone and other expenses incurred by directors on behalf of Ecolab were reimbursed.
Director stock option grants are made on the date of the Annual Meeting of Stockholders, and have an exercise price which is the average of the high and low market price on the date of grant. We believe that the use of the average of the high and low market price on the date of the grant removes same day stock volatility. We do not have a program, plan, or practice to time stock option grants to directors in coordination with the release of material non-public information. Beginning with the grant in May 2008, director stock options vest 25% at the end of each three-month period following the grant date.
The options granted to directors under the 2001 Plan may be transferred to defined family members or legal entities established for their benefit, and with respect to options granted through May 2004, provide for a one-time automatic grant of a reload stock option if the optionee exercises the original stock option by tendering shares of previously owned Common Stock of the Company. The reload stock option is for the same number of shares tendered to exercise the original stock option and the number of shares required to be withheld to satisfy minimum statutory tax obligations, has an exercise price equal to the fair market value of our Common Stock on the reload grant date, and is immediately exercisable at any time during the remaining exercise term of the original stock option. The reload feature under the 2001 Plan was eliminated in 2004.
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the amount of approximately $557,000 from Manpower and its affiliates. Ecolab believes all sales to and purchases from Manpower were made in the ordinary course, at arm's length, and at prices and on terms customarily available. Further, the director had no personal interest in, nor received any personal benefit from, such commercial transactions.
Based on the review of the Governance Committee, the Board of Directors has determined that the following directors, including those on the slate of nominees for election to the Board at this year's Annual Meeting, are, and have been since January 1, 2008, "independent" and meet the independence and other requirements of the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange, the rules and regulations of the SEC, applicable law, and the Board's "independence" standards: Barbara J. Beck, Les S. Biller, Richard U. De Schutter, Jerry A. Grundhofer, Joel W. Johnson, Jerry W. Levin, Robert L. Lumpkins, Beth M. Pritchard and John J. Zillmer.
In view of the materiality of the relationships, arrangements and transactions between Ecolab and Henkel who until November 2008 was a greater than 5% shareholder, including the Stockholder's Agreement and Related Party Transactions described below, the Board has determined that Henkel's designees to our Board (Stefan Hamelmann, Kasper Rorsted and Hans Van Bylen) who served on the Board from January 1, 2008 until they resigned in June 2008, were not "independent." In addition, the Board determined that Douglas M. Baker, Jr. is not "independent," due to his status as a current executive officer.
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The Governance Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing, approving or ratifying transactions in excess of $120,000 with the Company's executive officers or directors, including their immediate family members, or any greater than 5% stockholder known to us. Our practices and procedures for identifying transactions with related persons are located in the charter of the Governance Committee. The Governance Committee considers the related person's relationship to the Company and interest in the transaction; the material facts of the transaction, including the proposed aggregate value of such transaction; the benefits to the Company of the proposed related person transaction; if applicable, the availability of other sources of comparable products or services; an assessment of whether the proposed related person transaction is on terms that are comparable to the terms available to an unrelated third party or to employees; and such other factors and information as the Governance Committee may deem appropriate.
In November 2008, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA and its affiliate, Henkel Corporation, sold all their shares of our Common Stock. Until this sale, Henkel was a greater than 5% stockholder.
With respect to 2008, the Board's Governance Committee has considered, among other factors, the information below concerning transactions and arrangements between the Company and Henkel, including subsidiaries and affiliates of the Company and Henkel. In accordance with the Company's practices and procedures regarding related person transactions, the Governance Committee has approved and ratified these transactions and arrangements for 2008.
Pursuant to the Stockholder's Agreement, Henkel was entitled to designate nominees for election to our Board of Directors proportionate to the percentage of its holding of our voting securities (rounded down to the nearest whole number). Until they resigned in June 2008, Henkel had designated Messrs. Stefan Hamelmann, Kasper Rorsted and Hans Van Bylen.
As a part of the Transaction, Henkel continues to provide to our European businesses certain services and products which Henkel previously provided to Henkel-Ecolab prior to the Transaction at prices and on terms customarily available. These include leased office space; certain accounting, finance, payroll, human resources, information and other administrative services; and contract manufacturing and supply agreements.
Pursuant to an Intellectual Property Agreement entered into in connection with the Transaction: (i) Henkel transferred certain trademarks and patents used by Henkel-Ecolab to
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us and we granted a perpetual royalty-free license back to Henkel to use such transferred intellectual property outside of the cleaning and sanitizing field; and (ii) Henkel granted a perpetual (in a limited number of cases, the license for certain trademarks is limited to five years) royalty-free license to us to use certain other trademarks, patents and technology used by Henkel-Ecolab which were not transferred to us.
In connection with the Transaction, Ecolab and Henkel also entered into an Environmental Agreement dated December 7, 2000 under which Henkel agreed to indemnify Ecolab for certain environmental liabilities associated with the parties' former joint venture in Europe. We have requested euro 261,046 (approximately $368,000 at December 31, 2008) from Henkel for environmental costs during 2007 and 2008.
Pursuant to a Brand License Agreement, Henkel granted Ecolab a license for certain Henkel trademarks to use on products for sale to retail customers who sell to both commercial and household end-use customers. Ecolab believes this license agreement was made in the ordinary course, at arm's length, and on terms customarily available.
During 2008, 2007 and 2006, we sold products and services in the aggregate amounts of approximately $8,000,000, $5,000,000 and $6,000,000 to Henkel or its affiliates, and purchased products and services in the aggregate amounts of approximately $73,000,000, $65,000,000 and $66,000,000, respectively, from Henkel or its affiliates. Ecolab believes its sales to and purchases from Henkel were made in the ordinary course, at arm's length, and at prices and on terms customarily available. The payments for products and services include amounts paid to Henkel and its affiliates for administrative services and for products under supply arrangements by our affiliates in approximately 25 countries outside of Europe where we earlier acquired industrial and institutional cleaning and sanitizing businesses from Henkel.
Our Board of Directors is divided into three classes. The members of each class are elected to serve a three-year term with the terms of office of each class ending in successive years. The Board of Directors currently consists of 10 members.
The term of current Class II Directors expires with this Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Pursuant to the recommendation of the Governance Committee, Messrs. Biller, Grundhofer and Zillmer were nominated by the Board of Directors for election as Class II Directors. Class II Directors being elected at the current Annual Meeting will serve until the 2012 Annual Meeting expected to be held in May 2012. The directors of Class I and Class III will continue in office. The Board of Directors has no reason to believe that any of the named nominees is not available or will not serve if elected. The Board of Directors recommends a vote FOR the election of the three nominees named in this Proxy Statement.
The following information with regard to business experience has been furnished by the respective directors or nominees or obtained from our records.
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The Compensation Committee has reviewed and discussed the following Compensation Discussion and Analysis of the Company with management. Based on their review and discussion, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board of Directors, and the Board has approved, that the Compensation Discussion and Analysis be included in both the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and the Company's Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting Stockholders to be held May 8, 2009.
Overview This Compensation Discussion describes the material elements of compensation awarded to each of our executive officers who served as named executive officers during 2008. This Compensation Discussion focuses on the information contained in the following tables and related footnotes and narrative primarily for 2008, but we also describe compensation actions taken during 2007 and 2009 to the extent it enhances the understanding of our executive compensation disclosure for 2008.
In 2008, we made the following changes to our executive compensation program: (1) our Board of Directors adopted a prospective clawback policy on executive compensation, which policy is discussed further at page 31, (2) we eliminated reimbursement for a club membership for our principal executive officer at his request, (3) we amended our deferred compensation programs to be Section 409A compliant, which is discussed further at page 42; (4) we revised our stock retention and ownership guidelines for some officers, which is discussed further at page 31; and (5) we extended the period from one-year to five-years under which employees or their estates can exercise stock options following the employee's death or disability.
The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors oversees the design and administration of our executive compensation program according to the processes and procedures discussed in the Corporate Governance section of this proxy statement, located at page 10.
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The principal elements of our executive compensation program for 2008 are illustrated below:
Our philosophy is to position the aggregate of these elements in the median range of our competitive market, adjusted for the Company's current size. For annual cash incentives, our philosophy is to also position them at a level commensurate with the Company's performance based on pro forma diluted earnings per share compared to EPS growth in the Standard & Poor's 500. We position annual cash incentives and stock options to provide lower than median compensation for lower than competitive market performance and higher than median compensation for higher than competitive market performance. Generally, this philosophy of commensurate aggregate pay is the same philosophy for executive positions throughout the world, based on representative compensation elements in the local marketplace. For stock options, our grant processes do not permit backdating and, as described under Long-Term Equity Incentives, are granted on the same date as the Compensation Committee approval date.
In General We use executive compensation to support our corporate vision, communicate the importance of our business results, retain executives important to our success and reward executives for contributions at a level reflecting our performance. Our executive compensation program, that is the compensation package as a whole as well as each element of compensation, is designed to be market competitive in order to attract, motivate and retain our executives in a manner that is both fair to our executives and supportable to our stockholders.
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Our executive compensation program is further designed to reinforce and complement ethical and sustainable management practices, and to align management interests (such as sustainable long-term growth) with those of our stockholders.
We used two surveys for benchmarking 2008 base salary and annual cash incentive compensation. The 2006/2007 Towers Perrin CDB Executive Compensation Survey includes 395 corporate entities with a median revenue of $5.7 billion. Including subsidiaries, this survey includes over 800 participants. We also used the 2007 Hewitt TCM Executive Regression Analysis Survey which includes 333 corporate entities with a median revenue of $4.9 billion. Including subsidiaries, the survey includes 389 participants. We used these surveys for benchmarking base salary and annual cash incentive compensation. We used the 2007/2008 Towers Perrin Long-Term Incentive Report for benchmarking long-term incentives in 2008. This survey has 422 participants with a median revenue of $6.0 billion.
We size adjust the survey data by inserting the annual revenue for the company (for use with the principal executive officer, principal financial officer and general counsel) or the applicable business unit (for use with the leaders of particular business units) into a statistical regression model supplied by the survey providers, which then computes the size-adjusted median by position for base salaries, annual cash incentives and long-term incentives. We use the average of the size-adjusted medians from the two surveys as the standard by which we set base salary and annual cash incentive targets. For long-term incentive guidelines, we use the size-adjusted median of the Towers Perrin survey, which the Compensation Committee's consultant validates against its own data for reasonableness.
We annually assess the reasonableness of our total compensation levels and mix relative to the data contained in these surveys. We have no explicit peer group with which to compare compensation levels because these companies are either privately held or are publicly held but the portion of the company which competes with our business is not separately reported and, therefore, directly comparable compensation figures are not publicly available. Since no explicit peer group exists based on our size and business type, we annually verify the reasonableness of the survey information used for our named executive officers by compiling proxy statement compensation information from the Standard & Poor's 500 Materials Sector,
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of which we are a component. The companies which currently comprise the Standard & Poor's 500 Materials Sector are:
We are asking our stockholders to re-approve our MPIP at the 2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, as discussed in more detail at page 51. The MPIP is administered by the Compensation Committee, who selects the participants each year, establishes the annual performance goal based upon performance criteria that it selects, the performance target, and a maximum annual cash award dependent on achievement of the performance goal. For 2008, the Compensation Committee selected diluted earnings per share as the performance measure under the MPIP. The Compensation Committee certifies the extent to which the performance goal has been met and the corresponding amount of the award earned by the participants, with the ability to lower, but not raise, the award based upon the same underlying operable metrics used for our Management Incentive Plan cash incentive and to recognize individual performance.
We have designed and administered our deferred compensation, equity compensation, and change-in-control severance plans to be in compliance with federal tax rules affecting nonqualified deferred compensation. In accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards 123R, for financial statement purposes, we expense all equity-based awards over the
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period earned based upon their estimated fair value at grant date. Accounting treatment has not resulted in changes in our equity compensation program design for our named executive officers.
In General The Committee reviews base salaries for the named executive officers and other executives annually in December effective for the following fiscal year, and increases are based on changes in our competitive market, individual performance and time in position. Our philosophy is to pay base salaries that are within the median range of our size-adjusted competitive market. When an executive officer is new to his/her position, his/her initial base salary will likely be at the low end of the median range but, if performance is acceptable, his/her base salary will be increased over several years to arrive at the median.
In General The Committee reviewed annual cash incentive awards for the named executive officers and other executives at the February 2009 meeting to determine award payments for the 2008 year and we established 2009 target award opportunities in December 2008. These annual cash incentive awards are administered under our Management Incentive Plan (or MIP) and our MPIP.
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For two of our named executive officers (Messrs. Miller and Handley), who manage particular business units for us, 70% of their annual cash incentive is based upon 2008 business unit performance. One-half of the business unit performance component is based on achievement of the 2008 revenue goal, which for Mr. Miller was 3.3% growth over 2007 revenue at threshold, 6.8% growth at target and 10.9% growth at maximum; and for Mr. Handley was 5.0% growth over 2007 revenue at threshold, 9.4% growth at target and 16.2% growth at maximum. The other half is based on achievement of the 2008 operating income goal, which for Mr. Miller was 2.7% growth over 2007 operating income at threshold, 6.5% growth at target and 12.0% growth at maximum; and for Mr. Handley was 10.7% growth over 2007 operating income at threshold, 15.5% growth at target and 26.1% growth at maximum. In establishing these goals for 2008 we took into consideration our prior year results and growth opportunities, investment requirements and market influences. For 2008, 2007 and 2006, the payout percentage for performance against business unit goals for these named executive officers has ranged from 59% to 194% of target with an average payout percentage of 143% of the target award opportunity for the three year period for the business unit performance component.
For two of our named executive officers (Messrs. Fritze and Bell), who hold staff positions (principal financial officer and general counsel, respectively), 30% of their annual cash incentive is based upon performance of individual performance goals. This component of staff position awards under the MIP is set at 30% of the performance measure mix for annual cash
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incentives so that achievement of these goals is a component of the award but remains balanced against achievement of corporate performance goals. The 2008 individual performance goals for our principal financial officer and the general counsel are specific, qualitative, achievable with significant effort and, if achieved, provide benefit to the Company. The Compensation Committee, with input from the principal executive officer, approved the annual cash incentives as shown at page 33, including the component based on the principal financial officer's and general counsel's achievement of their respective 2008 performance goals.
The Compensation Committee reviews and approves all adjustments to our overall corporate and our business unit performance results. In 2008, no such adjustments were made.
In General The Committee granted long-term equity incentives to our named executive officers and other executives in December 2008, consistent with its core agenda and past practice of granting these incentives at its regularly scheduled December meeting. For 2008, our long-term equity incentive program for the named executive officers consisted of an annual grant of stock options.
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 29
occurs, options that are outstanding for at least six months from the date of grant become immediately exercisable in full.
In General Our named executive officers participate in all of the same health care, disability, life insurance, pension, and 401(k) benefit plans made available generally to the Company's U.S. employees. In addition, our named executive officers are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation program, restoration plans for the qualified 401(k) and pension plans, a supplemental retirement benefit and an executive disability and life benefit. These plans are described in more detail on pages 39 to 43 and 45 to 46. The named executive officers also receive perquisites described in more detail in footnote (6) to the Summary Compensation Table.
In General We review our change-in-control protection periodically to ensure it remains fair to our executives and supportable to our stockholders. For 2008, our change-in-control policy for the named executive officers is summarized at page 35.
30 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
In General We have in place stock retention and ownership guidelines to encourage our named executive officers and other executives to accumulate a significant ownership stake so they are vested in maximizing long-term stockholder returns. Our guidelines provide that the principal executive officer own Company stock with a market value of at least five times current base salary and that other corporate officers own company stock with a market value of at least three times current base salary. In 2008 we revised the retention guidelines to be more in line with our competitive market. As before, until the stock ownership guideline is met, our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and sector presidents are expected to retain 100% of all after-tax profit shares from stock option exercises. Our other officers are now expected to retain 50% (instead of 100%) of all after-tax profit shares from stock option exercises. For purposes of complying with our guidelines, stock is not considered owned if subject to an unexercised stock option. Shares owned outright, legally or beneficially, by an officer or his or her immediate family members residing in the same household and shares held in the 401(k) plan count towards meeting the guideline. Our named executive officers and other officers may not enter into any risk hedging arrangements with respect to Company stock.
The Company's Board of Directors has adopted a policy requiring the reimbursement of payments made to an executive officer due to the executive officer's misconduct, as determined by the Board. Each of our executive officers have agreed in writing to this policy. This policy has been filed with the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K as Exhibit (10)W.
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 31
performance based compensation is allocated between annual and long-term components and how total compensation is allocated between cash and equity components:
32 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
The following table shows cash and non-cash compensation for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006 for the persons serving as the Company's "Principal Executive Officer" and "Principal Financial Officer" during the year ended December 31, 2008 and for the next three most highly-compensated executive officers who were serving in those capacities at December 31, 2008.
During 2007, Messrs. Baker and Fritze received reload options totaling 149,480 shares and 57,798 shares, respectively. During 2006, Mr. Baker received reload options for 54,625 shares. The issuance of these reload options was not a new discretionary grant by the Company. Rather, the issuance results from rights that were granted to Mr. Baker on August 18, 2000, December 7, 2000, December 6, 2001 and December 5, 2002 and to Mr. Fritze on August 18, 2000, December 6, 2001, May 10, 2002 and December 5, 2002, as part of their original option grants made under the Company's 1997 and 2002 Stock Incentive Plans. The respective reload options expire on the expiration date of their original grant. The reload feature was eliminated for grants subsequent to 2002.
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 33
34 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
For the purpose of options granted in 2008, a change-in-control of the Company occurs if:
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 35
36 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 37
The vesting dates of the respective stock options held at December 31, 2008 that were unexercisable are summarized in the table below:
38 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
The Company maintains the following non-contributory defined benefit plans for its executives: (i) a tax-qualified plan (Pension Plan); (ii) a non-qualified excess plan (Mirror Pension); and (iii) a supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP). The preceding table shows the actuarial present value of the accumulated benefit for each executive officer under the Pension Plan, the Mirror Pension and the SERP as of December 31, 2008, using the same assumptions as are used for financial reporting purposes under generally accepted accounting principles by the Company, except that retirement age is assumed to be age 62, the earliest retirement age at which a participant may retire under the plans without any benefit reduction due to age. The current accrued benefit is allocated between the tax-qualified Pension Plan and the related supplemental non-qualified plans based on the Internal Revenue Code limitations applicable to tax-qualified plans as of December 31, 2008. The present value is determined by using a discount rate of 6.26% for 2008 and assuming that the executive officer (i) terminated employment on December 31, 2008 with vested benefits and (ii) commenced a retirement benefit at age 62 as a single life annuity or lump sum, if available. Pension annuities were converted to lump sums, where available, using an interest rate of 4.76% and the mortality rates defined in the Mirror Pension and SERP plans as prescribed in Revenue Ruling 2001-62. The present value of the pension single life annuity assumed mortality rates from the RP 2000 Combined Healthy table with mortality improvements projected to December 31, 2008. Cash balance benefits were valued assuming 2009 and future interest credits of 4.76% (the discount rate less 1.50%). The cash balance annuity conversion for the SERP offset used an interest rate of 5.26% (the discount rate less 1.00%) and the mortality rates prescribed by the IRS for 2008 pension lump sum calculations
The Pension Plan is a tax-qualified defined benefit plan covering most U.S. employees of the Company and its U.S. affiliates. It is intended to provide long-service employees a foundation for retirement benefits in the form of regular income. Participants hired prior to January 1, 2003, including each of the named executive officers, except Mr. Handley, earn monthly pension benefits under the following formula ("traditional formula"): 1/12 of the sum of (a) years of credited service times 1% of "final average compensation" plus (b) years of credited service (not exceeding 35) times 0.45% of "final average compensation" minus "covered compensation." "Final average compensation" is the average of the participant's annual compensation for the five consecutive calendar years that produce the highest average,
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 39
counting the participant's base salary and annual cash incentive compensation for a plan year, excluding any long-term and non-cash incentive bonuses and amounts above the IRS compensation limits for qualified plans. "Covered compensation" is the average amount determined by the IRS to have been subject to Social Security taxes over the participant's working life.
Participants hired after 2002 accrue an account credit at the end of each year equal to a fixed percentage of the participant's compensation for that year plus an interest credit applied to the participant's account balance on the first day of that year ("cash balance formula"). Compensation used in determining the credits is the participant's base salary and annual cash incentive compensation for a plan year, excluding any long-term and non-cash incentive bonuses and amounts above the IRS limits for qualified plans.
Participants become entitled to a non-forfeitable ("vested") right to their Pension Plan benefit upon completing three years of continuous service with the Company. Normal retirement date is the date on which the participant attains age 65 and has completed at least three years of continuous service. Traditional formula participants who have terminated employment with the Company may begin to receive benefit payments as early as age 55, reducing the benefit by 1/280 for each month by which payment begins before age 62. Unreduced benefits may begin after age 62. The normal form of benefit is a single life only annuity for participants who are not married and a joint and 50% survivor annuity for married participants. Subject to a spousal consent requirement for married participants, participants may select an actuarially equivalent benefit in one of the following forms: single life only annuity, joint and 75% or 100% survivor annuity (married participants only); life and five year certain annuity; and life and ten-year certain annuity.
If a participant dies after benefit commencement, payments to a beneficiary, if any, are made according to the payment option selected by the participant. If a participant with a vested traditional formula benefit dies before benefit payments commence, the participant's beneficiary is entitled to a death benefit. If the beneficiary is the participant's surviving spouse, the benefit is a life annuity beginning after the participant would have attained age 55. Other beneficiaries receive a five or ten-year annuity benefit.
Cash balance formula participants with at least three years of continuous service may commence benefit payment at any time after termination. The payment will be the actuarial equivalent value of their account balance, determined using the mortality and interest factors prescribed by the IRS. The normal form of benefit for cash balance formula participants is a single life only annuity for participants who are not married and a joint and 50% survivor annuity for married participants. Optional forms of payment for cash balance formula participants are lump-sum payment, single life annuity, and, for married participants only, joint and 75% or 100% survivor annuity. The beneficiary of a cash balance formula participant who dies before commencing benefits will receive a death benefit actuarially equivalent to the participant's account balance.
The Mirror Pension is a non-qualified plan intended to restore benefits under the tax-qualified Pension Plan for those employees whose benefits are reduced by Internal Revenue Code limits. The Mirror Pension has generally the same terms as the Pension Plan except: (i) compensation is determined without regard to the IRS limits for qualified plans; (ii) vesting is accelerated upon a change-in-control; (iii) benefits may be forfeited for certain serious misconduct; and (iv) the optional forms of benefits available to participants with respect to benefits accrued and vested as of December 31, 2004 ("Grandfathered Mirror Pension Benefits") include a lump sum payment. Benefits accrued and vested after December 31, 2004 are subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 409A ("409A Mirror Pension Benefits") and are not linked to the
40 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
Pension Plan. The normal form of 409A Mirror Pension Benefit is a 10-Year Annual Installment payout commencing upon the later of attainment of age 55 or separation from service for traditional formula participants or upon separation from service for cash balance formula participants, provided that payment to a "specified employee" (corporate officers, including each of the named executive officers) may not commence earlier than six months after separation from service. Optional forms of benefits available to participants include 5-Year Annual Installments, Lump Sum or an Annuity Option (Single Life, Life & 5-Year Certain, Life and 10-Year Certain, and for married participants, Joint and 50%, 75% or 100% Survivor). Participants were permitted to make a transition election as to an optional form of benefit for their 409A Mirror Pension Benefit before the end of 2008 as permitted under 409A regulations. Any subsequent change in optional form by a participant is subject to the "1-year/5-year rule" which requires that the change be made 12 months before separation from service and must not become effective for 12 months after the election is made (the 1-year rule), and the payment commencement date must be delayed for 5-years after the original commencement date (the 5-year rule). A participant who elects an Annuity Option may choose among the various types of annuity forms at any time before separation from service. Despite the plan's normal form of benefit or a participant's election of an optional form of benefit, the Company will cash out the participant's Grandfathered Mirror Pension Benefit and/or the participant's 409A Mirror Pension Benefit in a lump sum if the present value of such portion of the benefit at the time of distribution does not exceed $25,000.
The SERP is a non-qualified supplemental executive retirement plan intended to ensure a pension benefit that replaces a significant portion of the income of executives who are corporate officers of the Company. The maximum SERP benefit equals 2% of final average compensation times years of credited service (up to 30 years), reduced by the benefits payable under the Pension Plan and the Mirror Pension. A participant age 65 with 30 years of service would receive benefits from all three defined benefit plans equal to 60% of final average compensation. For executives hired by the Company after age 35 and therefore unable to earn the maximum benefit at age 65, the SERP provides an additional "past service benefit." The annual past service benefit equals 1% of the difference between final average compensation and annualized earnings at the time of joining the Company ("first year earnings") multiplied by the difference between the executive's age at date of hire and 35. Material terms of the SERP are similar to those of the Pension Plan except: (i) compensation is determined without regard to the IRS limits for qualified plans; (ii) the SERP benefit vests upon attainment of age 55 and completion of ten-years of service or attainment of age 65; (iii) vesting is accelerated upon a change-in-control; (iv) benefits may be forfeited for certain serious misconduct; (v) participants hired after age 35 are credited with additional "past service credit" equal to one year for each year by which the executive's age at date of hire exceeded 35. In addition, the normal form of benefit with respect to SERP benefits accrued and vested as of December 31, 2004 ("Grandfathered SERP Benefits") is a 15-year certain monthly annuity commencing at age 65 and participants may elect to receive an actuarially equivalent benefit in any of the optional forms of payment available under the Pension Plan or in a lump sum. SERP benefits accrued and vested after December 31, 2004 are subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 409A ("409A SERP Benefits"). The normal form of benefit, election of optional forms of benefit and time of commencement of the 409A SERP Benefit are linked to the Mirror Pension. Despite the normal form of benefit or a participant's optional form of benefit election, the Company will cash out the participant's Pre-409A SERP Benefit and/or the participant's 409A SERP Benefit in a lump sum if the present value of such portion of the benefit at the time of distribution does not exceed $25,000.
Messrs. Miller and Handley were hired by the Company after age 35 and will benefit from the past service benefit and past service credits under the SERP. The SERP benefit in the above
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 41
table includes past service benefits as follows: Mr. Miller, $150,630; and 5.16 years of past service credit; and Mr. Handley, $290,999 and 14.10 years of past service credit.
Mr. Bell is the only named executive officer who is currently eligible for early retirement under the Pension Plan, Mirror Pension and SERP. As a cash balance formula participant, Mr. Handley would be eligible to receive his vested benefits under the Pension Plan and Mirror Pension upon separation from service.
The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (the "Act") amended the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code") by adding Section 409A, which applies to "amounts deferred" after December 31, 2004 under non-qualified deferred compensation plans. As a result, the Company temporarily froze the accrual of benefits under both its Mirror Pension and SERP as of December 31, 2004. The freeze allowed amounts deferred prior to January 1, 2005 to continue to be governed by the law in effect prior to the addition of Code Section 409A. The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations and other guidance with respect to Code Section 409A in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Both the Mirror Pension and SERP were amended in 2008 to rescind the freeze, to grant past service credit retroactive to January 1, 2005 and to otherwise conform the plan to 409A requirements.
The Company does not grant extra years of credited service under the Pension Plan or the Mirror Plan except as approved by its Board of Directors. Prior service credits have been approved by the Board in limited circumstances in connection with a business acquisition or merger, entry into plan participation by employees formerly participating in a union plan while employed with the Company and for employment with the Company before the Pension Plan was adopted in 1972. None of the named executive officers has been granted extra years of service under these plans. The SERP grants extra years of credited service for executive officers hired by the Company after age 35. Messrs. Miller and Handley have been granted extra years as noted above in the discussion of the SERP.
The Mirror Savings Plan is a non-qualified mirror 401(k) deferred compensation excess plan which enables executives to obtain benefits of a tax-deferred savings and investment program without regard to limits on compensation and benefits imposed by the Code on the Company's tax-qualified deferred compensation plan. The plan is unfunded and does not protect the executive from insolvency of the Company.
42 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
Participants may defer up to 25% of base salary and annual cash incentive compensation for a calendar year (up to 100% of annual cash incentive compensation effective January 1, 2009). The Company credits a matching contribution equal to (i) 100% of the amount of the executive's deferrals that do not exceed 3% of covered compensation plus (ii) 50% of the executive's deferrals that exceed 3% but do not exceed 5% of the executive's covered compensation. An account is maintained on the Company's books in the name of each executive. The account is credited with phantom earnings at the same rate as earnings on externally managed investment funds available to participants of the Company's tax-qualified deferred compensation plan. An executive is allowed to elect the investment fund or funds that will apply and may change the election at any time; provided that (i) an executive officer is not permitted to elect the Company stock fund, and (ii) effective January 1, 2006, the Company discontinued making its matching contributions to the Company stock fund. The earnings rate applicable to each such investment fund for 2008 is as follows: Managed Income Fund, 3.75%; Fidelity Retirement Money Market Portfolio, 2.93%; Fidelity Government Income Fund, 11.01%; PIMCO Total Return Fund Administrative Class, 4.56%; SsgA Target Retirement Income Fund C, -13.01%; SsgA Target Retirement 2010 Fund C, -16.87%; SsgA Target Retirement 2015 Fund C, -22.29%; SsgA Target Retirement 2020 Fund C, -25.34%; SsgA Target Retirement 2025 Fund C, -28.16%; SsgA Target Retirement 2030 Fund C, -31.02%; SsgA Target Retirement 2035 Fund C, -33.72%; SsgA Target Retirement 2040 Fund C, -33.77%; SsgA Target Retirement 2045 Fund C, -33.67%; SsgA Target Retirement 2050 Fund C, -33.62%; Fidelity Puritan® Fund, -29.16%; Spartan® U.S. Equity Index Fund, -37.03%; Harbor Capital Appreciation Fund Administrative Class, -37.13%; Dodge & Cox Stock Fund, -43.31%; Spartan Extended Market Index Fund, -38.45%; Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust: U.S. Small Cap Value Portfolio Class I Shares, -26.99%; Hartford Small Company fund HLSAI, -40.60%; Dodge & Cox International Stock Fund, -46.69%; and Ecolab Stock Fund, -30.26%. The following investment funds were discontinued as investment options under these plans during 2008: TCW Value Added Fund, (N/A-liquidated mid-year); Vanguard Explorer Fund Admiral Class, -40.29%.
Participants, including the named executive officers, are always 100% vested in their deferred compensation account and are entitled to receive a distribution in cash upon termination, death or disability. The normal form of distribution with respect to the portion of the account attributable to contributions made before 2005 ("Grandfathered Mirror Savings Benefit") is a single lump sum, but an executive may elect to receive such portion of the account in the form of annual installments over a period not to exceed ten years. The portion of the executive's account attributable to contributions made after 2004 is subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 409A ("409A Mirror Savings Benefit"). The normal form of 409A Mirror Savings Benefit is a 10-Year Annual Installment payout commencing upon separation from service, provided that payment to a "specified employee" (corporate officers, including each of the named executive officers) may not commence earlier than six months after separation from service. Optional forms of benefits available to participants include 5-Year Annual Installments or Lump Sum. Participants were permitted to make a transition election as to an optional form of benefit for their 409A Mirror Savings Benefit before the end of 2008 as permitted under 409A regulations. Any subsequent change in optional form by a participant is subject to the "1-year/5-year rule" which requires that the change be made 12 months before separation from service and must not become effective for 12 months after the election is made (the 1-year rule), and the payment commencement date must be delayed for 5-years after separation from service (the 5-year rule). Despite the plan's normal form of benefit or a participant's election of an optional form of benefit, the Company will cash out the participant's Grandfathered Mirror Savings Benefit and/or the participant's 409A Mirror Savings Benefit in a lump sum if the present value of such portion of the benefit at the time of distribution does not exceed
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 43
$25,000. Deferrals may be withdrawn during employment only upon an unforeseeable emergency and are limited to the amount needed to satisfy such emergency. Company matching amounts are not available for such in-service withdrawal and are subject to forfeiture for certain serious misconduct.
The Company maintains certain plans, policies and practices covering named executive officers that will require it to provide incremental compensation upon certain types of terminations, including termination due to a change-in-control of the Company.
As permitted by SEC rules, the following discussion and amounts do not include the payments and benefits that are not enhanced by the termination of employment or change-in-control. These payments and benefits are referred to hereafter in this discussion as "vested benefits" and include:
44 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
Mr. Bell is the only named executive officer who would have been entitled to such special retirement provisions as of December 31, 2008 as follows: $337,000 annual cash incentive; $750,000 retiree death benefit coverage; and 38,467 accelerated options at $0 value.
An elected corporate officer with qualifying age and years of service would receive coverage under the retiree death benefit program described in the above section entitled "Voluntary Resignation."
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 45
qualified by training, education or experience. Benefits may continue until the executive reaches age 65; provided that if the disability begins at ages 60-64, benefits are payable for up to five years, if the disability begins at ages 65-68, benefits are payable until age 70, and if the disability begins at age 69 or later, benefits are payable for one year. Benefits are limited to 24 months if disability is a result of a disease or disorder of one of the following types: certain mental or nervous, neuromusculoskeletal, soft tissue, chronic fatigue syndrome and related conditions.
Discharge Not for Cause; Resignation Due to Constructive Discharge The Company negotiates severance arrangements on a case-by-case basis if an executive's employment is terminated involuntarily without cause or if the executive resigns as a result of a constructive
46 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
discharge. Any such negotiated settlement would require the named executive officer to sign a general release and waiver of claims against the Company and would typically require compliance with confidentiality and non-compete restrictions. Payment of such severance will generally be made in equal installments over regular payroll periods. For purposes of this disclosure, such a negotiated severance is estimated to include payment of up to two years base salary and target annual cash incentive for each of the named executive officers, as follows: Mr. Baker, $4,200,000; Mr. Fritze, $1,615,000; Mr. Miller, $1,445,000; Mr. Handley, $1,360,000; and Mr. Bell, $1,200,000.
At the discretion of the Compensation Committee, the vesting of options may be accelerated or extended and the exercise period extended. However, no option may remain exercisable or continue to vest for more than two years beyond the date such option would have terminated if not for the Compensation Committee's action, or beyond its expiration date, whichever first occurs.
In addition, if the executive's position, age and years of service qualify at time of termination, the executive would receive benefits under the same special provisions applicable for retirement as are described in the section entitled voluntary resignation above. As noted in that section, Mr. Bell is the only named executive officer who would have been entitled to such special retirement provisions as of December 31, 2008.
Change-in-Control The Company maintains a Change-in-Control Severance Compensation Policy (the "Policy") which applies to elected officers (other than assistant officers) of the Company, including each named executive officer listed in the Summary Compensation Table at page 33. The Board of Directors may terminate the Policy after two years' advance notice except that the Policy may not be terminated within two years after a change-in-control has occurred.
The Policy entitles the officer to a severance payment if, within two years following a change-in-control, the officer's employment with the Company is terminated without Just Cause (as defined in the Policy) or the officer voluntarily terminates employment for Good Reason (as defined in the Policy). The severance payment is paid in a lump sum equal to the sum of (i) two times the sum of the officer's base salary plus target annual cash incentive; plus (ii) a pro-rated portion of the target annual cash incentive for the year of termination. The officer also is entitled to payment of reasonable outplacement service fees up to 20% of base salary and continuation, for up to 18 months, of medical and dental health coverage at the cost the officer paid prior to termination of employment. The Policy does not provide a gross-up for the 280G excise tax. However, the Policy does provide for a reduction of payments if the Policy results in higher after-tax income to participant due to 280G excise tax. As a condition of the payment of such benefits, the officer must release the Company from employment-related claims.
The Company's non-qualified Mirror Pension and Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan discussed under the section entitled Pension Benefits For 2008 at page 39 provide that the interests of participants shall vest and become non-forfeitable upon a change-in-control of the Company. Each named executive officer listed in the Summary Compensation Table at page 33 participates in such deferred compensation plans.
Under the terms of the Company's stock incentive plans, upon a change-in-control the vesting for options held at least six months would be accelerated (but no extended exercise period).
For purposes of the Policy, the deferred compensation plans and the stock incentive plans, the term "change-in-control" has the same meaning given it in the discussion found on page 35 at footnote (1) under the table "Grants of Plan-Based Awards For 2008."
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 47
The table below summarizes the additional payments the Company would be obligated to make if a qualifying termination due to a change-in-control occurred on December 31, 2008.
48 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
The Audit Committee operates under a written Charter and the functions of the Committee are described under the heading "Board Committees Audit Committee" beginning at page 9 hereof. The Audit Committee's Charter recognizes that (i) it is the responsibility of management to prepare the Company's financial statements in accordance with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America and to maintain an effective system of financial control; and (ii) it is the responsibility of the independent auditors to plan and conduct the annual audit and express their opinion on the consolidated financial statements in accordance with professional standards. As recognized in the Charter, the Committee's responsibilities include overseeing the work of the participants in the financial reporting and control process.
In this context, the Audit Committee has (i) reviewed and discussed the audited consolidated financial statements of the Company as of December 31, 2008 and for the year then ended (the "Financial Statements") with management which has represented that the Financial Statements were prepared in accordance with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America, (ii) discussed the Financial Statements with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (our independent registered public accounting firm), including the matters required to be discussed by Public Company Accounting Oversight Board AU Section 380, "Communications with Audit Committees," and (iii) received the written disclosures and the letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP required by applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding the independent accountant's communications with the Audit Committee concerning independence and has discussed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP their independence. The Committee has also considered whether PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's provision of non-audit services as described below under the heading "Audit Fees" is compatible with maintaining PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's independence.
Based on the foregoing review and discussions, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board of Directors, and the Board has approved, that the Financial Statements be included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 for filing with the SEC.
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 49
The following table presents fees for professional services rendered by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007.
All of the professional services provided by PwC in 2008 and 2007 were approved or pre-approved in accordance with policies of the Audit Committee and the Company. The Audit Committee has pre-approved projects for certain permissible non-audit services. Under the policy, requests for pre-approvals of permissible non-audit services must be accompanied by detailed documentation regarding specific services to be provided. The policy specifies that:
50 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
Examples of permissible non-audit services under the policy include: (i) merger/acquisition due diligence services; (ii) attest services; (iii) tax compliance, filings and returns; and (iv) tax planning services, provided that such services are limited to projects having "known or accepted" outcomes.
The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") as independent registered public accounting firm to audit our consolidated financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2009 and to perform other appropriate services. Representatives of PwC are expected to be present at our Annual Meeting of Stockholders. They will have an opportunity to make a statement if they desire to do so, and are expected to be available to respond to appropriate questions.
PwC has provided professional services to the Company in 2008, the aggregate fees and expenses of which are reported at page 50.
Introduction The Company is submitting the Ecolab Inc. Management Performance Incentive Plan, as amended (the "Performance Plan") for re-approval at the Annual Meeting. The Performance Plan is intended to assist the Company in attracting and retaining key executives by focusing such executives on pre-established, objective performance goals and by providing them the opportunity to earn financial rewards based on the achievement of such goals. The Company has maintained the Performance Plan and similar, stockholder-approved, performance-based bonus plans continuously since 1994.
Stockholder approval of the Performance Plan at the Annual Meeting will allow performance-based bonuses paid under the plan to continue to qualify for an exemption from the deduction limitations imposed by Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 162(m) generally prohibits a publicly traded company from deducting certain executive compensation in excess of $1,000,000 per year unless, among other things, the compensation is paid under a stockholder-approved plan containing objective performance criteria. If the Performance Plan is not approved, no Awards will be paid under the Plan for any periods after 2008.
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 51
Currently, Section 162(m) and related regulations require that stockholders re-approve the material terms of the performance criteria every five years in order to continue to qualify for the exemption. As the Performance Plan was last approved by the Board of Directors on February 28, 2004 and by the Company's stockholders on May 7, 2004, it is now being submitted for re-approval at the Annual Meeting.
The major features of the Performance Plan are summarized below. The summary is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Performance Plan, a copy of which may be obtained from the Company. A copy of the Performance Plan has also been filed electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an appendix to this Proxy Statement, and is available through the SEC's website at http://idea.sec.gov.
Except for EPS (which applies to the consolidated Company) the measurements may be applied to the Company or, by allocation, to any division or unit thereof.
The Performance Plan is administered by a committee (the "Committee") appointed by the Board of Directors consisting of two or more members, each of whom is an "outside director" within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). The Committee has the authority to:
52 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
The Committee does not have the authority to amend or modify the terms of outstanding awards, but shall appropriately adjust any evaluation of performance under the Performance Criteria to reflect the impact of certain extraordinary events so that the Performance Goals following such event are substantially the same as prior to the event. In all events, the Committee may reduce or eliminate the compensation or other economic benefit due pursuant to an award.
All executive officers of the Company (within the meaning of Rule 3b-7 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) are eligible to participate in the Performance Plan. Currently, the Company has 14 executive officers, although historically only one to six have been selected to participate by the Committee in a Plan year. Participants in the Performance Plan will be those eligible executive officers who are selected by the Committee to receive awards for a Plan Year, or if the executive officer is appointed or hired during the Plan Year, for a portion of the Plan Year.
Not later than 90 days after the commencement of a Plan Year (or such earlier date, as may be required by Section 162(m) of the Code), the Committee will determine in writing for each participant the Performance Goal(s) for the participant, including in each case one or more of the Performance Criteria and the Performance Target for each Performance Criteria, the relative weight assigned to each Performance Goal and the cash award to be received by the participant to the extent such Performance Goals are achieved. The cash award will be expressed as a percentage of the participant's base salary for the Plan Year. In no event, however, may a participant receive more than $5 million pursuant to an award for any Plan Year.
An individual who is first appointed or hired as an executive officer after the inception of the Plan Year may be selected as a participant by the Committee. In that case, the Executive Officer will be assigned (within the time periods permitted by Section 162(m) of the Code) Performance Goals and cash award targets expressed as a percentage of base salary for the portion of the Plan Year for which the individual is a participant in the Performance Plan.
As soon as practicable after the end of the Plan Year, and after the Committee has received the appropriate financial and other data, the Committee will, for each participant, certify in writing the extent to which the applicable Performance Goals for the participant have been met and the corresponding amount of the award earned by the participant. Payment of each award in a cash lump sum, less applicable withholding taxes, will be made as soon as practicable thereafter.
In the event of a participant's termination of employment during a Plan Year, the Committee may (after completion of the Plan Year) cause the payment of all, or a portion of, the amount earned according to the terms of the award pro rated for the portion of the Plan Year through the participant's termination.
For the Plan Year ending December 31, 2009, the Compensation Committee of the Company's Board of Directors has selected each of the named executive officers appearing in the Summary Compensation Table at page 33 and three additional executive officers as the participants.
The actual amount payable to each of the foregoing is currently not determinable, as it will depend upon performance relative to the Performance Criteria during 2009, and is subject to
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 53
the Committee's authority to further reduce the ultimate payment in its discretion. For information regarding awards made in respect of fiscal 2008 under the Performance Plan to the named executive officers, see "Executive Compensation Summary Compensation Table" at page 33. The total amount of the awards made as a group in respect of fiscal 2008 under the Performance Plan to the named executive officers and the three additional executive officers (if the three had been named as participants in respect of fiscal 2008 under the Performance Plan) was $3,550,000.
In the event of a participant's termination of employment during a Plan Year, the Committee may (after completion of the Plan Year) cause the payment of all, or a portion of, the amount earned according to the terms of the award pro rated for the portion of the Plan Year through the participant's termination.
Nothing in the Performance Plan modifies, rescinds or creates any future limitation on the Company's power or authority to adopt such additional or other compensation arrangements as the Board of Directors or a Committee thereof may deem necessary or appropriate.
The Performance Plan will remain in effect through and including the Plan Year ending December 31, 2013. However, the Board of Directors may suspend or terminate the Performance Plan or any portion at any time and may amend the Performance Plan in any respect that the Board may deem to be in the best interests of the Company, provided that no amendment shall be effective without the approval of the stockholders of the Company if such approval of the amendment is then required for the Performance Plan to continue to qualify as a performance-based compensation plan pursuant to Section 162(m) of the Code.
The Board of Directors unanimously recommends that you vote AGAINST the stockholder proposal set forth below.
The owner of 248 shares of our Common Stock has notified the Company that he intends to present the following resolution at the Annual Meeting. In accordance with rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the text of the proponent's resolution and supporting statement is printed verbatim from his submission. The Company will provide the name and address of the proponent of the stockholder proposal promptly upon oral or written request for such information. Requests may be sent to the Corporate Secretary, Ecolab Inc., 370 North Wabasha North, St. Paul, Minnesota 55102, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
RESOLUTION: That the shareholders of ECOLAB INC. request its Board of Directors to take the steps necessary to eliminate classification of terms of its Board of Directors to require that all Directors stand for election annually. The Board declassification shall be completed in a manner that does not affect the unexpired terms of the previously-elected Directors.
STATEMENT: In the last annual meeting, 46.32% of the shares worth $4,427,052,328.00 on the date of the meeting were voted in favor of this proposal. The unmarked proxies voted by management defeated it.
54 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
The proponent believes the election of directors is the strongest way that shareholders influence the directors of any corporation. Currently, our board of directors is divided into three classes with each class serving three-year terms. Because of this structure, shareholders may only vote for one-third of the directors each year. This is not in the best interest of shareholders because it reduces accountability.
Xcel Energy Inc., Devon Energy Corporation, ConocoPhillips, ONEOK, Inc. CenterPoint Energy, Inc., Hess Corporation have adopted this practice and it has been approved by the shareholders at CH Energy Group, Inc., Central Vermont Public Service Corporation, Black Hills Corporation, Spectra Energy Corp., and several others, upon presentation of a similar resolution by the proponent during 2008. The proponent is a professional investor who has studied this issue carefully.
The performance of our management and our Board of Directors is now being more strongly tested due to economic conditions and the accountability for performance must be given to the shareholders whose capital has been entrusted in the form of share investments.
A study by researchers at Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School titled "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2003), looked at the relationship between corporate governance practices (including classified boards) and firm performance. The study found a significant positive link between governance practices favoring shareholders (such as annual directors election) and firm value.
While management may argue that directors need and deserve continuity, management should become aware that continuity and tenure may be best assured when their performance as directors is exemplary and is deemed beneficial to the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders.
The proponent regards as unfounded the concern expressed by some that annual election of all directors could leave companies without experienced directors in the event that all incumbents are voted out by shareholders. In the unlikely event that shareholders do vote to replace all directors, such a decision would express dissatisfaction with the incumbent directors and reflect the need for change.
If you agree that shareholders may benefit from greater accountability afforded by annual election of all directors, please vote "FOR" this proposal.
Board of Directors' Recommendation
All of the members of our Board of Directors recommend that you vote AGAINST this proposal. The Board believes that this proposal is not in the best interests of Ecolab and our stockholders and opposes the proposal for the reasons discussed below.
Ecolab's directors, serving under a classified board structure, have served the stockholders very well. Our Board has carefully considered this proposal and the arguments for and against a classified board. We have concluded that our classified board structure continues to be in the best interests of Ecolab and our stockholders.
A similar proposal to de-classify our Board was presented to our stockholders and defeated at last year's annual meeting. The proponent in his statement in support of the proposal claims that "[t]he unmarked proxies voted by management defeated [the prior year's proposal]". We believe that this statement is misleading. The statement misleads Ecolab stockholders by concluding that the only reason the prior proposal was defeated at the 2008 Annual Meeting was because of management's voting of unmarked proxies. The proponent has no factual basis
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 55
for the statement. The number of unmarked proxies voted by management was not publicly reported and is unknown to our management, but may be presumed to be nominal due to the composition of our stockholder base made up largely of institutional investors, which in almost all cases mark their proxies. Additionally, the statement misleads Ecolab's stockholders into believing that the stockholders submitting those unmarked proxies would have marked their proxy cards to be voted in favor of the prior proposal if they had known that management would vote unmarked proxies against the prior proposal. The proponent's implication is contrary to the express disclosure contained in the proxy statement and proxy card for the 2008 Annual Meeting which provided that unless a contrary choice is specified, proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will be voted AGAINST approval for the stockholder proposal to eliminate classification of terms of the Board of Directors.
As we explained in last year's proxy statement, we still believe that the classified board continues to be in the best interest of Ecolab and our stockholders.
Ecolab's Combination of Superior Performance and Strong Business Ethics. The proponent cites a 2003 study which links corporate governance and company performance as an argument to change Ecolab's current board structure. Ecolab has demonstrated both superior performance and high business ethics including strong corporate governance practices.
More recent history also demonstrates Ecolab's strong performance.
Ecolab's commitment to strong business ethics is illustrated by the recognitions it has received. In addition to the numerous accolades Ecolab has received over the years for the way it conducts business, in 2008 Ecolab received the following recognitions:
56 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service, and company policies toward National Guard and reserve service. We are extremely pleased to receive recognition for our recruitment efforts.
Classified Board Enhances Stockholder Value in the Event of an Unsolicited Acquisition Offer. The current board structure reduces the vulnerability of Ecolab to potentially unfair and abusive takeover tactics and encourages potential acquirers to negotiate with our Board. Our classified board structure does not preclude unsolicited acquisition proposals. However, by eliminating the threat of imminent removal, it allows the directors to maximize the value of a potential acquisition by giving Ecolab time and bargaining leverage to evaluate and negotiate the adequacy and fairness of any takeover proposal and to consider alternatives, including the continued operation of the Company's business.
Ecolab Directors Accountable to Stockholders. All directors are required to uphold their fiduciary duties to our stockholders, regardless of how often they stand for election. Additionally, any director, or the entire Board, may be removed from office at any time if there is "cause" for the removal. As a result, the stability and continuity benefits of a classified board do not require any sacrifices to director accountability.
Stockholders should be aware that the approval of the proposal would not declassify the Board. Consistent with its fiduciary duties, the Board would reconsider its position with respect to the classified board structure if stockholders voted in favor of the proposal. However, such a vote will not necessarily cause the Board to alter its position. To declassify the Board, the Board would need to propose to the stockholders an amendment to the relevant section of the Company's certificate of incorporation, following which the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock would be required to approve the proposed amendment.
The Board of Directors recommends that you vote AGAINST this proposal. Unless a contrary choice is specified, proxies solicited by our Board of Directors will be voted AGAINST the stockholder proposal.
Based solely on a review of the reports furnished to the Company, or written representations from reporting persons that all reportable transactions were reported, the Company believes that during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 the Company's executive officers, directors and greater than ten percent owners timely filed all reports they were required to file
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 57
under Section 16(a), except that (i) Henkel AG & Co. KGaA was late in filing one Form 4 report covering a single transaction and Henkel Corporation was late in filing one Form 4 report covering a total of two transactions; and (ii) Jerry W. Levin was one day late in filing one Form 4 report covering Ecolab stock units credited to his account on December 31, 2008.
*If you participate in the Ecolab Savings Plan and ESOP (the "Plan"), you are entitled to direct Fidelity Management Trust Company (the "Trustee") to vote (or not to vote) the equivalent number of shares of Common Stock credited to your Plan account. Your proxy card will serve as a voting instruction to the Trustee and if your instructions are timely received, the Trustee will follow your voting instructions. If you do not timely submit your voting instructions, the Trustee will vote your Plan shares in the same proportion as to each respective proposal as the shares for which voting instructions have been received from other Plan participants. To allow sufficient time for voting of your shares by the Trustee, your voting instructions should be received by May 5, 2009 to ensure tabulation.
If you hold Ecolab shares through any other Ecolab plans, you will receive voting instructions from that plan's administrator.
58 PROXY STATEMENT 2009
DIRECTIONS TO THE ECOLAB ANNUAL MEETING
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is located in downtown Saint Paul at 345 Washington Street, directly across from The Saint Paul Hotel on Rice Park. There are numerous parking ramps and parking meters within easy walking distance. The closest parking ramps are located at the RiverCentre, Lawson Commons, Kellogg Street Ramp, and Landmark Towers.
PROXY STATEMENT 2009 A-1
MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE PLAN
(as amended and restated on February 27, 2009)
1. Purpose of Plan.
The purpose of the Ecolab Inc. Management Performance Incentive Plan, as amended (the Plan) is to advance the interests of Ecolab Inc. (the Company) and its stockholders by enabling the Company and its Subsidiaries to attract and retain key executives of outstanding ability, by focusing such key executives on pre-established, objective performance goals and by providing such key executives with opportunities to earn financial rewards based on the achievement of such performance goals. The Plan is intended to constitute a qualified performance-based compensation plan under Section 162(m)(4)(C) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code) and shall be administered and interpreted so as to ensure such compliance. In addition, the Plan is intended to be exempt from the requirements of Section 409A of the Code by reason of the short term deferral exception under Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.409A-1(b)(4).
For the purposes of the Plan, the following terms will have the meanings set forth below, unless the context clearly otherwise requires:
2.1 Award means a right granted to a Participant pursuant to Section 5 of the Plan to receive a cash payment from the Company (or a Subsidiary) based upon the extent to which the Participants Performance Goal(s) are achieved during the relevant Performance Period and subject to the Committees discretion pursuant to Section 3.1.
2.2 Board means the Board of Directors of the Company.
2.3 Code is defined in Section 1 of the Plan.
2.4 Committee is defined in Section 3 of the Plan.
2.5 Company is defined in Section 1 of the Plan.
2.6 Covered Employee means an individual who with respect to a Performance Period is a covered employee within the meaning of Section 162(m)(3) of the Code.
2.7 Disability means the disability of the Participant such as would entitle the Participant to receive disability income benefits pursuant to the long-term disability plan of the Company or Subsidiary then covering the Participant or, if no such plan exists or is applicable to the Participant, a determination by the Committee that the Participant is permanently and totally disabled within the meaning of Section 22(e)(3) of the Code.
2.8 Executive Officer means an executive officer of the Company within the meaning of Rule 3b-7 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
2.9 GAAP means generally accepted accounting principles set forth in the opinions, statements and pronouncements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, United States (or predecessors or successors thereto or agencies with similar functions), or in such other statements by such other entity as may be in general use by significant segments of the accounting profession, which are applicable to the circumstances as of the date of determination and in any event applied in a manner consistent with the application thereof used in the preparation of the Companys financial statements.
2.10 Participant means an Executive Officer of the Company to whom an Award is granted by the Committee under the Plan.
2.11 Performance Goal means a performance objective established by the Committee for a particular Participant for a Performance Period pursuant to Section 5 of the Plan for the purpose of determining the extent to which an Award has been earned for such Performance Period. Each Performance Goal will consist of (a) Performance Criteria, as defined in Section 5.2 of the Plan, which are one or more objectively determinable measures related to individual, business unit or Company performance, and (b) a Performance Target, which is the level at which the relevant Performance Criteria must be achieved for purposes of determining whether a cash payment is to be made under an Award, which may be stated as a threshold level below which no payment will be made, a maximum level at or above which full payment will be made and intermediate targets which will result in payment between such threshold and maximum level.
2.12 Performance Period means a Plan Year or, for an Executive Officer who is first hired as, or first becomes eligible for this Plan as, an Executive Officer after the first day of the Plan Year and who becomes a Participant during the Plan Year, such portion of the Plan Year as determined by the Committee.
2.13 Plan is defined in Section 1 of the Plan.
2.14 Plan Year means the fiscal year of the Company.
2.15 Retirement means termination of employment at an age and length of service such that the Participant would be eligible to an immediate commencement of benefit payments under the final average compensation formula of the Companys defined benefit pension plan available generally to its employees, whether or not such individual actually elects to commence such payments (provided that, (i) if the Participant is not covered by the Companys defined benefit pension plan, or (ii) if the Participant is covered under the cash balance formula of such plan, then the Participant will be deemed to be covered by the final average compensation formula of such plan for purposes of this Plan).
2.16 Subsidiary means any entity that is directly or indirectly controlled by the Company, as determined by the Committee.
3. Plan Administration.
3.1 The Committee. The Plan will be administered by a committee appointed by the Board consisting solely of two or more directors, each of whom is an outside director within
the meaning of Section 162(m)(4)(C)(i) of the Code (the Committee). In accordance with and subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee will have full authority and discretion with respect to Awards made under the Plan, including without limitation the following: (a) selecting the Executive Officers to be Participants; (b) establishing the terms of each Award; (c) determining the time or times when Awards will be granted; and (d) establishing the restrictions and other conditions to which the payment of Awards may be subject. The Committee will have no authority under the Plan to amend or modify, in any manner, the terms of any outstanding Award; provided, however, that (x) the Committee shall have the authority provided for in Section 3.2 of the Plan; and (y) the Committee shall have the authority to reduce or eliminate the compensation or other economic benefit due pursuant to an Award upon the attainment of one or more Performance Goals included in such Award. Each determination, interpretation or other action made or taken by the Committee pursuant to the provisions of the Plan will be conclusive and binding for all purposes and on all persons, and no member of the Committee will be liable for any action or determination made in good faith with respect to the Plan or any Award granted under the Plan.
3.2 Adjustments. In the event of (a) any merger, reorganization, consolidation, recapitalization, liquidation, reclassification, stock dividend, stock split, combination of shares, rights, offering, extraordinary dividend (including a spin-off) or other similar change affecting the Companys shares, (b) any purchase, acquisition, sale or disposition of a significant amount of assets other than in the ordinary course of business, or of a significant business, (c) any change resulting from the accounting effects of discontinued operations, extraordinary income or loss, changes in accounting as determined under GAAP, or restatement of earnings or (d) any charge or credit resulting from an item which is classified as non-recurring, restructuring, or similar unusual item on the Companys audited annual Statement of Income which, in the case of (a) (d), results in a change in the components of the calculations of any of the Performance Criteria, as established by the Committee, in each case with respect to the Company or any other entity whose performance is relevant to the achievement of any Performance Goal included in an Award, the Committee (or, if the Company is not the surviving corporation in any such transaction, a committee of the board of directors of the surviving corporation consisting solely of two or more outside directors within the meaning of Section 162(m)(4)(C)(i) of the Code) shall, without the consent of any affected Participant, amend or modify the terms of any outstanding Award that includes any Performance Goal based in whole or in part on the financial performance of the Company (or any Subsidiary or division thereof) or such other entity so as equitably to reflect such event or events, such that the criteria for evaluating such financial performance of the Company or such other entity (and the achievement of the corresponding Performance Goal) will be substantially the same (as determined by the Committee or the committee of the board of directors of the surviving corporation) following such event as prior to such event; provided, however, that the Committee shall not take any action pursuant to this Section which would constitute an impermissible exercise of discretion pursuant to Section 162(m) of the Code.
The Participants for any Performance Period shall be those Executive Officers who are granted Awards by the Committee under the Plan for such Performance Period.
5. Grant of Awards.
5.1 Nature of Awards. An Award granted under the Plan shall provide for a cash payment to be made solely on account of the attainment of one or more pre-established, objective Performance Goals included in such Award, subject to the Committees authority pursuant to Sections 3 and 10 of the Plan.
5.2 Performance Criteria. Performance Criteria which the Committee may include in Awards made under the Plan include the following measurements, or changes in such measurements between different Plan Years (or combination thereof) as applied to the Company as a consolidated entity or, except as to Diluted Earnings Per Share, a business division or business or staff unit thereof:
(a) Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS) means net income (loss) per common share, diluted, as reported in the Companys audited year-end Consolidated Statement of Income (Statement of Income) for the Plan Year;
(b) Operating Income means operating income as reported or included in the Companys Statement of Income;
(c) Net Sales means net sales as reported or included in the Companys Statement of Income;
(d) Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) means the 12 point average of month-end DSO numbers, and month-end DSO numbers shall mean monthly performance for days sales invested in trade accounts receivable, determined by using the exhaustion method ;
(e) Capital Expenditures means capital expenditures reported or included in the Companys year-end audited Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows for the Plan year;
(f) Inventory Days On Hand (DOH) means, by category of inventory, the average of the 12 month-end DOH numbers, and the month-end DOH numbers shall mean, by category of inventory, (i) inventory on hand at standard cost, divided by (ii) cost of goods at standard cost based on either forecasted requirements or historical shipments;
(g) Controllable Expenses means expenses under the control of the Participant;
(h) Return on Beginning Equity means net income (loss) as reported or included in the Companys Statement of Income divided by beginning of the year shareholders equity as reported or included in the Companys year-end audited financial statements for the Plan Year; and
(i) Return on Net Assets means (i) Operating Income, less income taxes at the applicable effective rate, divided by (ii) total assets less cash and cash equivalents,
investments in securities and non-interest bearing liabilities as reported or included in the Companys year-end audited financial statements for the Plan year, including footnotes.
5.3 Establishment of Performance Goals. Not later than 90 days after the commencement of the Plan Year (or such earlier date as may be required pursuant to Section 162(m) of the Code) the Committee shall determine in writing for each Participant:
(a) the Performance Goal(s) for the Participant, including in each case one or more of the Performance Criteria set forth in Section 5.2 of the Plan and the Performance Target for each Performance Criteria;
(b) if more than one Performance Goal is specified for a Participant, the relative weight assigned to each Performance Goal; and
(c) the cash award expressed as a percentage of the base salary for the Participant for the Performance Period, (as fixed at the time the Performance Goal(s) are established), provided that the Committee shall also place a maximum dollar amount on such cash award which may not exceed $5 million.
For an Executive Officer who is first hired as, or first becomes eligible for this Plan as, an Executive Officer and who becomes a Participant after the first day of the Plan Year, the Performance Goals shall be established by the Committee as set forth in this Section within the time period permitted by Section 162(m) of the Code.
6. Payment of Awards.
As soon as practicable after the Committee has received the appropriate financial and other data after the end of a Plan Year, the Committee will for each Participant certify in writing the extent to which the applicable Performance Goals for such Participant have been met and the corresponding amount of the Award earned by such Participant. Payment of each Award in a cash lump sum, less applicable withholding taxes pursuant to Section 8 of the Plan, shall be made as soon as practicable thereafter, but not later than the later of (i) the 15th day of the third month following the end of the Participants first taxable year in which the right to payment is no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture, or (ii) the 15th day of the third month following the end of the Companys first taxable year in which the right to payment is no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture. Notwithstanding anything in the Plan to the contrary, no payment made pursuant to any Award in respect of any Performance Period shall exceed $5 million.