O’Brien Take Tops $3 Million


James J. OBriens paychecks have gotten bigger since he gained some responsibilities other than Valvoline.

OBrien – who earlier this year was named president, chairman and chief executive officer of Ashland Inc. – received compensation totaling $3.3 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2002, including $2.3 million in long-term stock awards and securities options. According to the 2002 annual report that Ashland released this month, OBrien received $702,000 in 2001, when he was president of Ashlands Valvoline.

As head of Covington, Kentucky-based Ashland, OBrien presides over road-builder APAC, Ashland Distribution, Ashland Specialty Chemical and Ashlands 38 percent stake in Marathon Ashland Petroleum, as well as automotive lubricants supplier Valvoline. OBrien was Valvolines president from the mid-1990s until early this year, when he became senior vice president and group operating officer in charge of the chemical and distribution businesses.

The annual report also stated that OBriens predecessor atop Ashland, Paul W. Chellgren, did not receive a retirement bonus upon his departure. In fact, Chellgren, who was forced out for breaking a company rule against relationships between supervisors and individuals working under them, did not receive a bonus of any kind in 2002. Still, he took home regularly scheduled compensation of $1.2 million, including a base salary of $998,000.

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