Coca-Cola pays CEO $18.1 million for last year after company fails to meet own targets

MarketsAssociated Press

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent was given a pay package worth $18.1 million last year after the world's biggest beverage company failed to meet its own growth targets.

The compensation is on par with the $18.2 million Kent received in 2013, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The pay package for 2014 would have been higher if Kent had accepted a $2.5 million bonus.

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Kent, who is 62 and has been CEO since 2008, said he turned down the bonus because the company is making "difficult but necessary decisions" to drive growth. Those include job cuts.

Coca-Cola Co. has cited challenging economic conditions in regions around the world for its disappointing financial performance. In 2014, it fell short of its own growth targets for unit case volume, operating income and earnings per share. It said it expects 2015 to be another challenging year.

The Associated Press formula calculates total compensation by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest that the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options.