At a time of growing public pressure to cut the salaries of top executives when things are going bad, Westinghouse Electric Corp. has done just that.
Westinghouse posted a $1.1 billion loss last year, and its top officers felt the pinch where it hurts most -- in their pocketbooks.
The company's bad year cost Paul E. Lego, Westinghouse's chairman and chief executive, about $1.6 million last year, according to Edward Goff, the company's compensation director.
Information in proxy materials being mailed to shareholders shows that Mr. Lego received a cash salary of $677,083 last year, down from the $1.68 million he was paid in 1990.
Mr. Goff explained, however, that annual and long-term incentive payments pushed Mr. Lego's total "take-home pay" to $2.3 million in 1990.
Last year, he said, Mr. Lego received no incentive pay, "so, in effect, he took a $1.6 million pay cut."
Mr. Lego was not the only Westinghouse executive to take a cut in compensation.
All of the top officers listed in the 1990 and 1991 proxy statements saw their compensation shrink by 50 percent or more.
Richard A. Linder, executive vice president and head of the Electronic Systems Group in Linthicum, was not listed in the 1990 proxy.
But this year's shareholder proxy material notes that he received cash compensation totaling $283,328 last year.
Mr. Goff could not say how much of a pay cut Mr. Linder took last year, but said it was more than $500,000.
Mr. Goff noted that Burton B. Staniar, chairman of Westinghouse's broadcasting division, received cash compensation of $354,996 last year, down from $729,996 in 1990, and said: "You can assume that all top executives took that kind of a hit."
According to Mr. Goff, Mr. Linder would have been in line for incentive payments totaling more than $500,000 if the company had met unspecified growth goals set by the board of directors.
In its annual report to stockholders, Westinghouse reports that the operating profits of its Electronic Systems Group totaled $193 million last year, 41 percent less than in the previous year.
Sales amounted to $3.24 billion, up from $3.19 billion.