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Executives’ Salaries Up at Advance

Several top executives at Advance Auto Parts made more in 2003 than the year before, but some bonuses dropped, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Lawrence Castellani, CEO of the Roanoke, Va.-based automotive parts retailer, made $669,566 in 2003, a 5 percent increase from $635,778 in 2002. His bonus was $359,746 in 2003, a 44 percent drop from $642,191 in 2002.

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From Roanoke Times & World News

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ROANOKE, VA — Several top executives at Advance Auto Parts made more in 2003 than the year before, but some bonuses dropped, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lawrence Castellani, CEO of the Roanoke, Va.-based automotive parts retailer, made $669,566 in 2003, a 5 percent increase from $635,778 in 2002. His bonus was $359,746 in 2003, a 44 percent drop from $642,191 in 2002.

Similarly, Paul Klasing, executive vice president of stores, had a 17 percent drop in his bonus in 2003. It was $206,674 compared with $249,632 in 2002. His salary hit $251,090 in 2003, compared with $242,227 in 2002.

Sheila Stuewe, spokeswoman for Advance Auto, said bonuses were down because the company failed to reach budget targets in 2003. In the first two quarters of 2003, same-store sales were soft.

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“Sales weren’t as strong as we would have liked,” she said.

The company has added various retail features and marketing strategies to improve store sales, she said.

Other executives’ bonuses increased, according to the proxy. President Jim Wade’s bonus jumped 5 percent in 2003 at $316,071 from $300,778 in 2002. He made $357,435 in 2003, compared with $301,547 in 2002.

Michael Coppola, executive vice president and COO, had a salary of $252,792 in 2003, compared with $206,530 in 2002. His bonus was $128,992 in 2003, an 18 percent increase from $109,297 in 2002.

Advance’s sales in 2003 were $3.5 billion, a 9 percent increase over 2002 figures at $3.2 billion. Earnings in 2003 jumped 92 percent to $124.9 million from $65 million in 2002.

Advance also is reshuffling its board of directors, according to the proxy. In February, the company announced that Nicholas Taubman, former chairman and CEO, would rejoin the board. Taubman’s father, Arthur Taubman, founded Advance Auto in 1932.

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“No one knows the aftermarket better than Mr. Taubman,” Stuewe said. “Mr. Taubman has a wealth of expertise.”

Two of the three directors associated with Freeman Spogli & Co. resigned from the board. The company’s equity fund, FS Equity Partners, sold 1.5 million shares of Advance common stock in November.

And on March 30, the board’s lead director, Stephen Peck, died unexpectedly.

Advance is looking for board replacements, the proxy states.

On March 30, Putnam LLC owned the largest portion of Advance stock at 11.3 percent or 8.3 million shares, according to the proxy.

At the end of 2003, Advance had 2,546 stores. It is the only Fortune 500 company based in Roanoke.

Copyright 2004 Roanoke Times & World News. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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