All natural?

Hain Celestial (HAIN), the large natural and organic food company whose stock has been pretty disappointing, despite a healthy growth in sales, didn’t have a problem doling out some artifical sweeteners to its CEO this past fiscal year. According to the company’s recent proxy, CEO Irwin Simon saw his bonus more than double in fiscal 2004 and his salary climb by more than 25%. Simon also received $3.15 million worth of restricted stock and exercised more than 500,000 options, which he sold in several different transactions for $9.5 million in November 2003. Since that was the beginning of fiscal 2004, it didn’t make it into last year’s proxy, though savvy investors could have tracked the sales by keeping up with the Form 4s that Simon filed.