HOUSTON (AP) ¿ Former Spectra Energy Corp. Chief Executive Fred Fowler, who retired from his post on the last day of 2008, saw his total compensation fall 23 percent to $4.8 million last year, as the value of stock options were less than the previous year, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Fowler's pay package fell from the $6.2 million he received in 2007, according to the natural gas transport and storage company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fowler, 63, received other bonuses totaling $1.18 million in 2008, slightly higher than the $1.15 million awarded the year before.

In addition, Fowler received stock options valued at $2.4 million when they were granted Feb. 26, 2008. In 2007 Fowler's stock options were valued at $4 million on their grant date, in part from a higher share price at the time.

The company's stock price had shed 5 percent from its 2007 grant date to the 2008 grant date.

The remainder of Fowler's 2008 pay package was a $1 million salary, up from $950,000 in 2007, and $143,693 of "other" compensation, the bulk of which was contribution to an executive savings plan.

The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fowler, Spectra Energy's CEO since January 2007, was the Houston-based company's highest-paid official among five company executives listed in the report.

Spectra Energy said it attempts to set executive compensation based on the median of executive pay among competitors. The company said it tries to balance short-performance and long-term incentives to retain talent.

For all of 2008, Spectra reported a profit of $1.13 billion, or $1.81 per share, up 18 percent from $957 million, or $1.51 per share in 2007. Revenue climbed 8 percent to $5.07 billion.

Like its industry peers, Spectra's shares tumbled in 2008, shedding more than 38 percent to close the year at $15.61. Shares have fallen even more in 2009. The stock closed at $12.02 Tuesday, up 52 cents, or 4.5 percent.

The company said it expects to spend $500 million in 2009 on capital expansion projects, and sees an annual dividend of $1.

Fowler retired from his position as president and chief executive on Dec. 31, 2008 and was succeeded by Gregory Ebel on Jan. 1, 2009.

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