Dooner, Top Execs Receive Limited Bonuses for Year

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NEW YORK ( -- Frank Lowe will retire from Interpublic Group of Cos. at the end of the year, according to the company's proxy statement filed Tuesday.

Mr. Lowe, who currently serves as chairman of Interpublic divisions Lowe Group and Octagon, will retire effective Jan. 2, 2003, and will act as a consultant to Lowe Group for one year, subject to renewal. He will have the title non-executive chairman.

Mr. Lowe was one of four Interpublic executives who lost their seats on the board of directors

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earlier this year when it was restructured to add more outsiders. Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the appointment of the new directors May 20.

Limited bonuses
The proxy statement also noted that Interpublic's chairman-CEO, John Dooner, received a bonus of $500,000 for 2001, 66.7% below his previous year's bonus. The statement said the board's compensation committee considered the company's performance -- including a 24.4% drop in operating profits from 2000 -- along with the poor business conditions in 2001, warranted only a "limited bonus" for Mr. Dooner and other top executives.

Additionally, McCann-Erickson Worldgroup Chairman James Heekin received a one-time payout of $750,000 to adjust his incentive payments for the years 1997 to 2001, when he rose from president of McCann-Erickson North America to his current position and a seat on the board; he was one of the four insiders removed earlier this year.

According to the compensation committee's report, the previous payouts "did not adequately reflect his increased responsibilities and his contribution to the profitability" of the company during those four years.

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