Furner begins as Walmart U.S. CEO Nov. 1; Foran to receive $4.8 million through 2022

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 2,417 views 

John Furner, recently named the next CEO for Walmart U.S., will begin that role on Nov. 1 and his base salary will be $925,000 annually. His base salary as Sam’s Club CEO was $780,827, according to a recent Proxy filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Furner is bound by a non-compete clause in his contract for two years should he exit the company. Walmart said it will pay Furner’s base salary for those two years unless his termination involved violations of company policies.

Terms of Furner’s new employment contract were spelled out in an 8K filing with the SEC on Thursday, one day after the board of directors accepted the resignation of Greg Foran, who has held the Walmart U.S. CEO post for five years.

Furner remains eligible for an annual cash incentive under the company’s Management Incentive Plan (MIP) based on performance criteria established by the board. For the company’s fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2020, Furner’s target cash incentive payment under the MIP will be 180% of his base salary, with a maximum possible payout of 225% of his base salary, according to the filing.

He will continue to be eligible to receive an annual equity award, generally consisting of a combination of restricted stock and performance-based restricted stock rights. Annual equity awards are made to executive officers each January.

While Foran will remain with the company through the fiscal year-end, Furner will begin the role Nov. 1. Foran will work with Furner for a smooth transition, according to Walmart statement. Foran’s contract allows for $4,827,775 in payments made in multiple installments through January 2022, in accordance with his non-compete clause. The filing said Foran will likely enter into another written agreement with Walmart memorializing these terms at a later date.

Furner , 45, is one of the youngest execs to hold this role seen as the No. 2 or No. 3 spot at Walmart. Foran was 53 when he assumed the role and Bill Simon who exited Walmart in July 2014 was 50 when he assumed the CEO role in June 2010. Eduardo Castro-Wright was also 50 when he assumed the U.S. CEO role in 2005. Before that, Mike Duke held the role and was in his early 50s.

Furner has logged 26 years at Walmart, first taking a job in the lawn and garden department in 1993 while he was attending the University of Arkansas. Furner has said he needed a way to make money when the band he was playing in broke up. Furner’s dad worked for Walmart for 17 years and Furner said he initially had no plans on making a career at Walmart. But that changed when his mom became ill and Sam and Bud Walton each reached out to his family.

“It was at that moment I knew how tremendously important people were to Walmart. I also knew I wanted to work for and with the organization that had provided so much support to my family. As I transition into this new role, I’m going to do a lot of listening, especially to the associates closest to our members. Like Sam said, ‘listen to everyone in your company,’” Furner noted in a blog post in December 2018.

Furner described his career at Walmart as “an amazing ride” from his first hourly job to an assistant store manager, assistant buyer, store manager, district manager and a buyer all by the age of 31. In 2006, Furner became a vice president and has since held various leadership roles in operations, merchandising and sourcing. He oversaw merchandising at Walmart China before joining Sam’s Club in 2015.

During his tenure as CEO of Sam’s Club, Furner focused on simplifying the business by reducing assortment and improving the quality of merchandise, improving service and embracing technology.