3 Top L.A. Gear Executives Make the Best-Paid List

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Move over, Michael Eisner.

While Walt Disney Co.'s chief executive and other senior officers at the Magic Kingdom have reigned as the princes of pay for two years, the top three executives at trendy athletic-shoe maker L.A. Gear are hard on their heels.

Because of a performance-related compensation plan that's much like Disney's, Robert Y. Greenberg, L.A. Gear's chairman and president, earned $5.4 million in 1989, according to the company's proxy statement, released this week. Meanwhile, Sandy Saemann, the executive vice president, earned $5.3 million and Elliot J. Horowitz, the former chief financial officer, $5.2 million.

The three executives would have ranked among the 15 most highly compensated in California during 1989, had their salaries been revealed in time for The Times' executive salary survey.

Unlike most of those on the top-paid list, the L.A. Gear executives got there without exercising a single stock option. Their pay was all cash.

Ranked by cash payouts alone, Greenberg, Saemann and Horowitz are the state's third, fourth and fifth most highly compensated executives. They trail only Eisner and Robert W. Bruce III of Fund American Cos., the Novato-based insurer formerly known as Fireman's Fund. Eisner earned $9.6 million in salary and bonus, while Bruce made $5.5 million.

What accounts for the stunning L.A. Gear salaries?

The company has an incentive compensation program that pays top officers a percentage of any profit exceeding $2 million. L.A. Gear's profit more than doubled last year, reaching $55 million

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