Walmart’s top five execs paid $64.722 million in fiscal 2017

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 9,912 views 

(from left) Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon, Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran, Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore, Sam’s Club CEO John Furner, and Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs

Walmart Inc. exceeded the $500 billion revenue threshold for the first time in the company’s 53-year history. So it’s no surprise the company’s top five executives, who benefit from performance-based compensation, also tallied up tidy gains.

Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran, Sam’s Club CEO John Furner, Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore, and Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs cumulatively earned $64.722 million for fiscal 2018, according to the annual proxy filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday (April 20). Earnings were up across the board with the exception of Lore, who received a large payment in the previous fiscal year from his sale of Jet.com.

McMillon’s earnings rose about 2% overall after he opted to defer $130,000 in earnings until next year. His base salary would have been $1.406 million, up 10% from the $1.278 million earned a year ago, but the deferment resulted in a salary decline from fiscal 2017.

He more than made up for that in additional stock awards totaling $15.692 million, cash incentive-based compensation of $4.736 million and increased deferred pension compensation earnings of $611,315. McMillon also had $473,765 in other compensation, including $77,020 for personal use of the company aircraft and $371,700 in deferred compensation plan contributions.

The company noted in the proxy McMillon’s performance-based pay is heavily weighted toward total company operating income at 75% and total sales at 25%. Given last year’s record sales and increased operating income, McMillon earned 116.4% of his target payout for his cash bonus cited above at $4.736 million.

Biggs earned $7.593 million in fiscal 2018, after he opted to defer $299,000 of his income until next year. Biggs’ salary would have been $1.17 million without the deferral which was a 36% raise from the prior year. His stock awards rose to $4.237 million from $3.176 million, and his cash incentive pay increased to $2.027 million from $2.026 million in the prior year. His deferred compensation pay was $140,000, up from $101,000 and he had $316,133 in other compensation, including $79,000 for personal use of the company aircraft.

Biggs has similar weightings on his performance pay metric and he earned 116% of the targeted payout for his annual cash incentive which totaled $2.207 million.

Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S., the largest segment of the company in terms of earnings and revenue, earned $11.017 million. Foran’s base salary was $1.051 million compared to $1 million in the prior year. His stock awards totaled $6.857 million, up from $6.65 million while his cash incentive bonus pay rose to $2.921 million, up from $2.861 million. His deferred compensation contributions increased to $9.954 million, up from $7.731 million in the prior year. Foran’s other compensation was substantially lower in 2018 at $178,168, compared to $1.027 million in the prior year. Most of the 2018 income was for use of personal aircraft ($75,717) and $41,202 in tax preparation costs in connection to his prior overseas assignments with the company and his U.S.-based job outside his home country.

Furner is new to the top earning group at Walmart. His total compensation was $12.876 million. His base salary was $780,827, with $9.856 million in stock awards. His incentive cash bonus totaled $1.665 million and the deferred compensation contribution was $35.324 million. He has $538,384 in other compensation which included $75,717 for personal use of the corporate aircraft and $298,201 in net tax equalization and tax preparation services related to his prior assignments in China and his move back to the U.S.

Lore, CEO of Walmart e-commerce, has the most complicated pay structure of the top five earners at the company because he is still getting paid for his sale of Jet.com in the form of company shares. Last year Lore earned $10.263 million, which included $1.03 million in salary, $6.316 million in stock awards, a cash incentive bonus of $2.792 million and other compensation totaling $123,862. The prior year Lore received a $242.449 million stock payment award which elevated his total compensation to $243.876 million. That payment was directly related to his sale of Jet.com to Walmart.

Walmart requires Lore to stay employed at Walmart for five years before the deferred shares vest. Earlier this year when Walmart reported lower-than-expected e-commerce numbers, it was rumored Lore would leave. Liza Landsman, president of Jet.com, did leave the company. Lore squelched rumors of an early departure. Should Lore leave the company he would have to abandon a large part of his profits from the sale of Jet.com.

BOARD CHANGES
Also in the proxy filing, Walmart said two directors were leaving the board. Dr. James Cash is rotating off the board after 12 years, and Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, is also exiting. Walmart has chosen McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, 50, to fill one of the spots.

Easterbrook took over as CEO of McDonald’s in March 2015 and has spent 25 years with the fast-food giant in a various management positions around the world.

“Steve’s strong experience in a combination of areas, especially strategic planning, global business operations, brand management and strong financial background, will make him a valuable addition to the Board,” chairman Greg Penner noted in the proxy filing “I’m confident he will have a positive impact on our company as we accelerate our retail transformation through innovation, leveraging technology and fiscal responsibility to save our customers both money and time.”

Penner also thanked Cash for his 12 years of service, having been a member of the auditing committee, as well as technology and e-commerce committees.

“Walmart has been extremely fortunate to have Dr. Cash serve on our Board. … He has been a good friend and a true difference maker in so many ways,” Penner said. “He has provided transformational leadership on strategy, technology, corporate governance, our business philosophy, diversity and inclusion, associate engagement and the Board committees on which he served.”

Systrom joined the board in 2014 and served as chair of the technology committee and e-commerce committee while being a member of the compensation and management development committee.

“We appreciate the insights and perspectives Kevin provided that helped guide our approach to technology and eCommerce and shape transformations within both that are underway,” Penner said. “Given his responsibilities leading Instagram and his new commitments following the arrival of his first child, we respect his decision to divide his time between those two important priorities and wish him well.”

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