Ralph Lauren, chairman and CEO of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp, has received an anniversary gift from the company he founded 40 years ago - a pay rise.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday (18 June), the company said that its founder and CEO has been given a new five-year employment contract effective with the expiration of his current one on 30 March 2008.

Lauren's new agreement raises his annual salary to US$1.25m, a 25% raise from his current salary of $1m.

Additionally, the contract provides for a target bonus of $13m a year, with a maximum bonus, based on the realisation of certain performance targets, of $19.5m, or 150% of the target bonus level.

In the fiscal year ended 1 April 2006, Lauren earned $1m in salary and $15m in bonuses, exclusive of stock options and grants. His earnings for the most recent fiscal year will be disclosed when Polo files its annual proxy statement.

The contract also provides for Lauren to receive annual grants of options to purchase 100,000 shares of the company's common stock and 75,000 restricted stock units. Under his previous contract, he was entitled to options for 150,000 shares and 100,000 restricted stock units.

At the end of fiscal 2006, Lauren held 2.9% of the company's Class A common stock and 100% of its Class B stock, giving him 87.4% voting power in the corporation.
By Arnold J Karr.