This excerpt taken from the EXAR DEF 14A filed Jul 23, 2009.
Compensation Consultants; Review of Compensation Data
From time to time as the Compensation Committee deems appropriate, it retains independent compensation consultants to help identify appropriate peer group companies and to obtain and evaluate current executive compensation data. Most recently, the Compensation Committee retained the consulting firm of Mercer Human Resource Consulting during fiscal year 2007 to provide comprehensive compensation data for comparable companies. The Compensation Committee did not retain compensation consultants for fiscal year 2009. The Compensation Committee will continue to monitor trends and best practices in executive compensation for companies in the Companys industry and consider retaining independent compensation consultants as and when it deems appropriate.
In making its compensation decisions for fiscal year 2009, the Compensation Committee referred to compensation data provided by the Companys human resources department for companies in the semiconductor industry similar in size and geographic location to the Company. Specifically, the Compensation Committee considered executive compensation data for the following companies:
Applied Micro Circuits Corporation and Cavium Networks, Inc. were added to the above list of peer companies during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009.
In addition, the Compensation Committee reviewed data from the Radford Executive Survey, a broad-based survey of executive compensation in which a large number of high-tech companies (including many of the peer companies listed above) participate.
The Company views the Companys current executive compensation program as one in which the individual components combine together to create a total compensation package for each Named Executive Officer that the Company believes achieves the Companys compensation objectives. In general, the Compensation Committee targets executives total cash compensation around the 50th percentile for similarly situated executives at the
companies described above, but the Compensation Committee does not specifically benchmark compensation at that level and retains discretion to set compensation at higher or lower levels as it deems appropriate in the circumstances.
For fiscal year 2009, the target cash compensation for each of the Named Executive Officers was at approximately the 50th percentile for similarly situated executives, except that the target cash compensation for Mr. Kamsler was at approximately the 70th percentile and the target cash compensation for Mr. Long was at approximately the 30th percentile. Mr. Longs target cash compensation was below the 50th percentile primarily because he was only recently promoted to an executive-level position. Mr. Kamslers target cash compensation as set forth in his offer letter with the Company was above the 50th percentile primarily due to market conditions at the time of his hiring in January 2007.