An independent investor has succeeded in getting a company’s compensation committee to chop the CEO’s salary by a third, a move seen as unprecedented.

Recently disclosed action by Lawndale Capital Management of Mill Valley, California led the board to reduce the annual base compensation of Richard A. Horowitz, chairman, CEO and president of P&F Industries — a Melville, New York–based $12 million market cap tool and hardware manufacturer — from $975,000 to $650,000.

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen a shareholder action reduce compensation on an incumbent CEO,” says Paul Hodgson, senior research associate in charge of executive pay research for GMI, a company that issues governance ratings on public companies.

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