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Coke CEO granted $21.6M in '07

ATLANTA - Neville Isdell, the chief executive of The Coca-Cola Co., received total compensation valued at $21.6 million in 2007, a more than 3 percent increase from the year before, according to a regulatory filing Monday by the world's largest beverage maker.

According to an analysis of the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Isdell, 64, was granted a salary of $1,612,500 and a performance-based bonus of $6,649,500.

He received all other compensation of $817,066, including $341,849 for aircraft usage, $80,116 for a car and driver, $117,065 for security, $48,169 for tax reimbursements, $213,375 for contributions to company thrift plans and $3,492 for life insurance premiums. He received another $13,000 for financial planning, but that figure wasn't reflected in a proxy table because it was below a certain threshold, a company spokesman said.

For security purposes, Isdell is required by the Atlanta-based company's board to use company aircraft for all travel, both business and personal, and he is reimbursed for the tax liability associated with the personal use of the company aircraft.

Coca-Cola provides a comprehensive security program and monitoring system for Isdell, including monitoring equipment at his homes and company-paid security personnel.

Isdell also received stock and option awards the company valued at $12,569,674 on the day they were granted.

Isdell did not receive above-market or preferential earnings on deferred compensation.

The AP's total pay calculations include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC.

According to Monday's proxy filing, Isdell was the beneficial owner of 2,027,688 Coca-Cola shares as of Feb. 22, which would have a present value of roughly $119 million. Some of the shares are in the form of restricted stock or are shares that may be acquired upon the exercise of options that are presently exercisable or will become exercisable by April 22. Among company directors and executive officers, the proxy shows, director James B. Williams was the beneficial owner of the largest Coca-Cola stake as of Feb. 22 - 102,092,879 shares at a present value of roughly $6 billion. His stake, some of which is held by foundations on which he is among the trustees, represents nearly 4.4 percent of all of Coca-Cola's outstanding shares.

Billionaire Warren Buffett's holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., owned 200 million Coca-Cola shares, or 8.6 percent of all outstanding company shares, as of Dec. 31. The present value of those shares is roughly $11.8 billion.

Coca-Cola's annual meeting of shareholders is scheduled for April 16 in Wilmington, Del.

At this year's meeting, shareholders will be asked to vote on the election of 14 directors, ratification of Ernst & Young LLP's appointment as Coca-Cola's independent auditors, approval of a stock option plan and three proposals of shareholders.