Former CEO: Everything Katz did was public relations

ST. LOUIS - Day six of the sex discrimination case against Anheuser-Busch saw former CEO, Patrick Stokes, on the witness stand defending the company and the process for determining executive pay.

Stokes said Francine Katz may have had several departments reporting to her but it was all considered public relations.

"It has to do with the image of the company, putting forth the position of the company; some with regard to alcohol awareness issues, some with regard to internal communications with employees and some with regard to press releases and our external communications. I think you can use PR as a general terms to describe all the things these people were doings but they were specialized in terms of the type of PR they did," said Stokes.

Katz, a former vice president of Corporate Communications and Consumer Affairs, is suing the company, alleging her pay was less than male colleagues. She alleges she was paid less than other executives because of her gender, in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Earlier in the day an executive pay compensation expert testified that Katz was much more than a public relations executive. He cited the fact that she testified before Congress, a role typically filled by a CEO. He also pointed out her work trying to prevent an increase in the beer excise tax and creating the company's anti-drunk driving and under-age drinking campaigns.

In his estimation, James Reda said Katz's salary was too low for a top communications job and policy-making officer. He testified she should have been paid $400,000 to $450,000 a year instead of $300,000 to $350,000 a year.

Reda also found inconsistencies in Anheuser-Busch's market pricing and compensation. He said executive titles were "inflated" by the brewer to justify higher salaries for some male executives.

In cross examination, Anheuser-Busch attorney Gabriel Gore brought out that Reda was being paid $100,000 for his testimony. He also introduced evidence showing that Katz was paid more than the median compensation for public relations executives at other major companies.

A-B maintains that Katz's pay was fair and that her compensation was based on a gender blind process.


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