J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts’ salary increases 5%, total compensation up nearly 700%

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 1,322 views 

John Roberts III, president and CEO of Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services, received a 5.3% salary increase and will earn a base salary of $890,000 for 2019, according to a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His salary rose 2.4% to $845,000 in 2018, from $825,000 in 2017.

J.B. Hunt on Friday (March 8) filed the proxy statement, which included salary information on company executives and directors and details on its shareholders meeting. The salaries for Roberts and four other company executives were approved in January.

Roberts’ total compensation rose 696.8% to $6.84 million in 2018, from $859,252 in 2017. The company in 2017 changed the timing for when it handed out stock incentives, and they were given in January 2018. Total compensation rose 23.5% in 2018, from $5.545 million in 2016. Total compensation includes bonuses, stock incentives, use of company jet and other benefits.

David Mee, chief financial officer, received a 5.6% raise and will earn a base salary of $525,000 in 2019. His salary increased 2.5% to $497,125 in 2018, from $485,000 in 2017. Total compensation rose 443.1% to $2.754 million in 2018, from $507,143 in 2017. The compensation increased by 12% in 2018, from $2.459 million in 2016.

Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer and president of Highway Services, received a 5.6% raise and will earn a base salary of $525,000 in 2019. Her salary rose 2.5% to $497,125 in 2018, from $485,000 in 2017. Total compensation increased 445.4% to $2.754 million in 2018, from $504,973 in 2017. The compensation rose 24% in 2018, from $2.222 million in 2016.

Nicholas Hobbs, president of Dedicated Contract Services, received a 7.8% salary and will earn a base salary of $525,000 in 2019. His salary increased 2.5% to $486,875 in 2018, from $475,000 in 2017. Total compensation increased 454.5% to $2.738 million in 2018, from $493,788 in 2017. The compensation increased by 24.5% in 2018, from $2.199 million in 2016.

Terrence Matthews, president of intermodal, received a 5.6% increase in salary and will earn a base salary of $525,000 in 2019. His salary rose 2.5% to $497,125 in 2018, from $485,000 in 2017. Total compensation rose 440.7% to $2.758 million in 2018, from $509,960 in 2017. The compensation rose 109.7% in 2018, from $1.315 million in 2016.

SHAREHOLDERS MEETING
J.B. Hunt has set its annual shareholders meeting for 10 a.m. April 18 at the company’s headquarters, 615 J.B. Hunt Corporate Drive in Lowell, and shareholders will vote on one stockholder proposal related to political contributions and supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Fund. A shareholder proposal on political contributions reporting failed in 2018.

If approved, the proposal would require J.B. Hunt to complete a semiannual report on the financial support it provides to political campaigns and candidates. The report noted in the proposal, which would not include lobbying spending, would be posted on the company’s website within 12 months of the date of the annual meeting. J.B. Hunt opposes the proposal and cited federal law restricts companies from making corporate contributions to political candidates, campaigns or other organizations related to federal elections. The company can give to political action committees and has provided money to them in the past.

Shareholders also will consider the reelection of its 10 existing board members for a one-year term: Douglas Duncan, Francesca Edwardson, Wayne Garrison, Sharilyn Gasaway, Gary George, Bryan Hunt, Coleman Peterson, Roberts, James Robo and chairman Kirk Thompson. Duncan, Edwardson, Gasaway, George, Peterson and Robo are all independent directors. Following is the 2018 total compensation, including cash and stock payments, for the directors:

  • Duncan, $251,465
  • Edwardson, $247,875
  • Garrison, $278,796
  • Gasaway, $259,945
  • George, $249,890
  • Hunt, $215,000
  • Peterson, $260,761
  • Robo, $286,926
  • Thompson, $376,039

As of Feb. 12, the 22 executive officers named in the proxy either directly or indirectly owned 3.6%, or 3.946 million, of company shares. Garrison owns 1.6%, or 1.702 million, of the shares, and George owns 1%, or 1.108 million shares. The other named officers own less than 1%.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, the following owned more than 5% of company shares: Co-founder Johnelle Hunt of Rogers, 16.9%, or 18.327 million; Vanguard Group Inc. of Malvern, Pa., 9.2%, or 9.996 million; Capital Research Global Investors of Los Angeles, Calif., 9%, or 9.883 million; and BlackRock Inc. of New York City, 5.7%, or 6.195 million.

The carrier’s revenue rose 90.3% to $8.615 billion in 2018, from $4.527 billion in 2011.

Shares of J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) on Friday afternoon were trading at $100.70, down $1.19, or 1.17%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $131.74 and $88.38.

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