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Huntington Ingalls' president/CEO continued his $1 base salary in 2017, records show

Huntington Ingalls' president/CEO continued his $1 base salary in 2017, records show
President and CEO Mike Petters’ compensation went from $7.2 million to $7.9 million, primarily due to changes in pension value. (Joe Fudge / Daily Press)

Total compensation for top executives at Huntington Ingalls Industries increased by varying amounts in 2017, according to documents filed Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

President and CEO Mike Petters' compensation went from $7.2 million to $7.9 million, primarily due to changes in pension value. It increased despite Petters choosing to donate all but one dollar of his six-figure base salary to a scholarship fund for HII employees.

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Other top executives who saw their compensation increase were Chris Kastner, chief financial officer; Brian Cuccias, who heads the Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss.; and Kelleye Walker, executive vice president and chief legal officer.

Not listed among the top earners was Jennifer Boykin, who only took over as president of HII's Newport News Shipbuilding last summer.

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For top executives, base salary does not make up a major portion of direct compensation. The lion's share comes from performance-based incentives tied to company performance.

In 2016, Petters announced he wanted to donate his base salary — which was about $986,000 in 2015 — to form the scholarship fund. The donation didn't happen right away, so his 2016 salary ended up at about $329,000 in 2016, before dropping to a single dollar in 2017.

Cuccias, Kastner and Walker all received increases in their base salaries in 2017, the documents state. Salaries for those three ranged from $517,000 to $545,000.

The increases for Cuccias and Kaster "were based on management's recommendation and an analysis of market and peer company data" as compiled by an independent consultant. Walker's increase "was based on individual performance in the form of a merit increase."

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The 2017 compensation breakdown is as follows:

-- Kastner: $3.8 million, up from about $3.2 million.

-- Cuccias: Nearly $4.2 million, up from $3.6 million.

-- Walker: $2.24 million, up slightly from $2.17 million.

Lessig can be reached by phone at 757-247-7821.

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