Coke CEO's skips bonus, still gets big raise

Buffett: Boards don't say no on CEO pay
Buffett: Boards don't say no on CEO pay

Coca-Cola's CEO declined a $2.5 million bonus, but his total compensation still rose 20% despite what he calls a "challenging" year for the company.

Coke CEO Muhtar Kent's pay package jumped to $25.2 million for 2014.

"Clearly, 2014 was not up to our high expectations," Kent wrote in its annual filing released Thursday.

Coke has lagged the broader stock market for the past few years, and Kent has taken some of the blame.

Despite the increase, Kent earned less in 2014 than he did two years ago, when Coca-Cola (CCE) was in better shape and he took home $30.4 million.

The company has been criticized for a compensation plan approved last year that at the time Warren Buffett deemed "excessive." The billionaire's company Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) is Coke's largest shareholder.

Despite his complaint, Buffett didn't vote against the plan and instead abstained from the vote. He's a big cheerleader for the company and has called Kent and the rest of the management a "first draft" team.

Coke did later tweak the compensation plan, reducing the number of shares it hands out to its top officers.

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