Novell CEO's 2009 pay valued at US$5.7 million

CEO Ron Hovsepian's total compensation fell in 2009

Novell president and CEO Ron Hovsepian's total compensation fell 17% in 2009, amid declining annual revenue and a wider net loss.

Hovsepian received compensation in fiscal 2009 valued at US$5.7 million, compared to $6.9 million in 2008, according to documents filed late last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

His pay package includes a $925,036 salary, up slightly from $912,214 in 2008. Hovsepian also received $1.28 million in performance-based cash incentives, down from $2 million in 2008.

The estimated value of stock and option awards granted to Hovsepian during fiscal 2009 was $3.4 million. His other compensation and perquisites totaled $119,179 (including $101,678 in deferred compensation earnings).

As a company, Novell saw revenue decline 10% and its net losses widen during its fiscal year ended October 31. For fiscal 2009, Novell recorded a net loss of $213 million on revenue of $862 million. In 2008, the company lost $9 million on revenue of $957 million.

In its proxy statement filed with the SEC, Novell said it won't raise salaries for its named executive officers (NEO) in 2010 and will toughen its performance-based compensation targets:

"In response to continued economic challenges, salaries for the NEOs continue to be frozen, and target annual cash incentive levels remain flat for fiscal 2010. Moreover, targets for fiscal 2010 have been set at levels for the year that are designed to be significantly more difficult to achieve, in order for the NEOs to achieve 100% of their target annual cash incentive amount, than in fiscal 2009," Novell stated.

Hovsepian's total pay is calculated using data supplied in a proxy statement filed with the SEC on Feb. 26. The following figures are taken from the summary compensation table: salary, non-equity incentive plan compensation and all other compensation (perks and deferred compensation plan contributions). Added to those figures is the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year; that figure is taken from the table that summarizes grants of plan-based awards.

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