CINCINNATI — Cintas Corp. CEO Scott Farmer took a 22% pay cut in the company’s 2020 fiscal year, which ended May 30, making Cintas the fifth local company to reduce the pay of its top executive in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Farmer’s $6.7 million in total compensation was $2.1 million smaller than last year’s total pay. Much of the decline was due to a decision by the Cintas board not to pay cash incentive awards to Cintas executives at or above the rank of vice president. Cintas also reduced the 2021 base salary of its five highest paid executives by 10 percent, starting June 1.
“The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic were unlike any in Cintas' recent history,” said the company’s proxy statement to shareholders. “Within the U.S., although our business was designated an essential business, which allowed us to continue to serve customers that remained open, our total fiscal 2020 financial performance was negatively impacted. These disruptions were severe and impactful.”
As WCPO previously reported, Cintas eliminated an undisclosed number of jobs in April as it dealt “lower work volume” from restaurants, hotels and other customers that use the company’s laundry, uniform rental and cleaning services. Although Cintas still hasn’t revealed how many employees were let go, it disclosed $24.5 million in employee-termination costs in its July 31 annual report.
The company’s 10% pay cut for its top five executives shaves $127,308 from the current year’s paychecks for Scott Farmer. Four others named in the proxy will lose a combined $240,487. The impact of lost incentive awards is not spelled out in the proxy, but Farmer got a $1.9 million boost from his cash-based incentive last year while four other executives split nearly $3 million.