J.B. Hunt execs earn base salary raises

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 2,900 views 

John Roberts, CEO of Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., received a 2% base salary increase for 2023 and will earn $1 million for the year, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Roberts received a 4.3% raise in 2022 and a salary of $980,000 last year.

Roberts’ total 2022 compensation rose by 5% to $9.24 million from $8.8 million in 2021. Total compensation largely comprises stock awards but also includes incentives and salary.

President Shelley Simpson will receive a 10.3% pay increase for 2023, and her salary for the year will be $800,000, up from $725,000 in 2022. She received a 20.8% raise in 2022, including her August promotion to president. Her total compensation rose by 140.5% to $8.81 million in 2022 from $3.66 million in 2021.

Nicholas Hobbs, chief operating officer and president of contract services, received an 8% raise for 2023 and will earn $675,000 for the year, up from $625,000 in 2022. He received a 4.2% raise in 2022. Total compensation rose by 1.8% to $3.72 million in 2022 from $3.66 million in 2021.

Darren Field, president of intermodal, received a 9.5% raise for 2023 and will earn $575,000 for the year, up from $525,000 in 2022. He received a 16.7% raise in 2022. Total compensation rose by 7.1% to $3.48 million in 2022 from $3.25 million in 2021.

John Kuhlow, chief financial officer, received a 10.5% raise for 2023 and will earn $525,000 for the year, up from $475,000 in 2022. He received an 18.8% raise in 2022. Total compensation increased by 6.7% to $2.95 million in 2022 from $2.77 million in 2021.

J.B. Hunt’s proxy statement also shows the annual shareholders meeting is set for 10 a.m. April 27 at the company’s headquarters at 615 J.B. Hunt Corporate Drive in Lowell.

Following are the proposals that shareholders will vote on:

  • Election of directors
  • Advisory vote on executive pay
  • Frequency of advisory vote on executive pay
  • Approval to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for 2023.

The company’s board of directors recommended approval of all the proposals. Regarding the proposal on the frequency of an advisory vote on executive pay, the board recommended such a vote take place every year.

Earlier this year, the directors voted to reduce the number of board members to nine. The existing board comprises 11 directors.

The following three board members will not seek reelection this year: Douglas Duncan, Gary George and Gale King. The board nominated Persio Lisboa as a candidate to fill the open position on the nine-member board. In 2021, Lisboa, 57, retired as president and CEO of transportation equipment manufacturer Navistar Inc. He worked there for 35 years, including in multiple management positions in sales and marketing, manufacturing, supply chain and procurement.

Eight board members are seeking reelection, including Francesca Edwardson, Wayne Garrison, Sharilyn Gasaway, Thad Hill, Bryan Hunt, Roberts, James Robo and Kirk Thompson. Director terms are for one year until the next shareholders’ meeting.

Following shareholders own more than 5% of company stock, listed with the percentage owned:

  • Johnelle Hunt of Rogers, 17.7%
  • The Vanguard Group of Malvern, Pa., 9.6%
  • BlackRock Inc. of New York, 6.1%
  • Rowe Price Investment Management Inc. of Baltimore, 5%.