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Winnebago Cuts CEO Salary, Suspends Raises for Salaried Employees

By Rich Smith - Apr 3, 2020 at 2:46PM

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CEO and company directors will take 25% pay cuts this year.

In the latest in a long list of "as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve" press releases from American industrial companies, Winnebago Industries (WGO 2.90%) announced this morning that it is "taking additional steps to maintain the Company's financial flexibility."

Winnebago has already announced a temporary halt to production of its RVs. Now, to help reduce costs at a time when revenues aren't coming in, the company is announcing that it will:

  • Cut the salary of CEO Michael Happe by 25% for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in late August, and eliminate the CEO's fiscal 2020 bonus as well. Happe's fiscal 2019 salary was $700,000.
  • Cut the cash compensation of each member of its board of directors by a similar 25%, also for the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • "Materially reduce" the cash compensation of other members of its executive leadership team.
Winnebago Adventurer RV on a forest road.

Image source: Winnebago.

Further down the food chain, Winnebago will postpone giving raises to salaried employees and freeze hiring for "non-critical salaried positions." Some capital expenses will be delayed and other expenses will be reduced or eliminated.

At the same time, Winnebago is doing its part to help mitigate the effects of the novel coronavirus by using its factories to produce medical masks and face shield parts and donating materials to healthcare workers, and making cash donations.

Winnebago noted that it has $123 million in cash available to get it through this crisis, and access to a $193 million credit facility. The company is also carrying $500 million in debt, however.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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