Executive Alert: CKE picks Puzder’s replacement; AMC’s Aron scores merger bonus

Executive Alert is a regular report on career moves, awards, recognition and other news about top executives from across the Show-Me State.


Career moves

Jason Marker will replace Andy Puzder as the new CEO of CKE Restaurants, the formerly St. Louis-based parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Puzder, a former St. Louis attorney, will be replaced by Marker in April. Puzder withdrew his nomination to be labor secretary under President Donald Trump last month. Marker was most recently president of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the U.S.

Randall Nyp has been appointed as the new CEO for Prime Healthcare’s Kansas City market. He will lead four hospitals in the Kansas City area, along with 31 physician practices and clinics in Prime’s Kansas and Missouri markets. Nyp had headed operations for Prime’s Providence hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, and Saint John hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas, since 2011. He was previously chief operating officer of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in South Carolina and CEO of Via Christi Regional Medical Center in Wichita.

Joe Egan, executive director of Kansas City’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, will retire at the end of April. Greg Flisram, currently the senior vice president for business and real estate development for the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City, will take over Egan’s position. Egan was previously executive director of  Neighborhood Housing Services Inc. and director of community investment for the Federal Home Loan Bank in Des Moines before working under the umbrella of the EDC in Kansas City for 17 years.

In the news

James Welch, the CEO of trucking giant YRC Worldwide Inc. saw a big pay drop in 2016, taking home $3.4 million in 2016, compared to $5.22 million in 2015. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company acknowledged that the pay drop was due to the company’s unsatisfactory performance. YRC, which posted a $21.5 million profit last year, nevertheless said it had fallen short of expectations.

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, collected a $4.5 million bonus last month for “extraordinary services” during AMC’s recent acquisitions of Carmike Cinemas and Odeon & UCI. As a result of the mergers, Leawood, Kansas-based AMC is now the owner of the largest theater chain in the U.S. and the world. The bonus was part of $10 million supplied by the Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese conglomerate that owns the majority stake in AMC Entertainment Holdings. The bonus was spread among nearly two dozen executives and one board member, according to Aron.

Tim Wentworth, president and CEO of Express Scripts Holding Co., earned a total of $14.5 million in compensation in 2016. That was an increase of 71 percent from his earnings in 2015. Wentworth’s 2016 compensation included a base salary of $1.2 million, stock awards of $7.3 million, option awards of $3.7 million, non-equity compensation of $2.2 million and other compensation of $118,391.

A Wall Street Journal study of the 104 biggest U.S. companies showed that median executive compensation was $11.5 million in 2016, an increase of 6.8 percent from the 2015 fiscal year. Much of the higher pay was awarded in the form of stock options and restricted stock options. The rising pay could mostly be attributed to a healthy stock market and increase in share prices, according to the Journal, which found that the median total return of the companies surveyed was 17 percent.


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