Intuitive Surgical CEO compensation rises

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NEW YORK (AP) — Intuitive Surgical Inc. Chief Executive Lonnie Smith’s total compensation more than doubled in 2008, though much of the boost came from stock options that lost much of their value with plunging share prices.

According to a proxy statement the surgical systems maker filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Smith received just under $9.6 million in total compensation. His salary rose 6.9 percent to 496,850 while his performance bonus also rose 6.9 percent to 390,000.

Meanwhile, he received stock options worth $8.7 million on the day they were granted, marking a boost of 165 percent from $3.3 million a year prior. But, the company’s shares are now trading significantly lower than the $303.27 the stock closed at when the shares were granted Feb. 15, 2008.

On Friday, shares closed at $95.89.

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