Walmart directors accumulate sizable stock holdings

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 3,776 views 

Directors for Walmart Inc. are required to take their annual retainer fees of $100,000 in stock for the first five years of service or until the stock holdings equal five times that of the annual retainer. Because of this requirement, anyone who serves on Walmart’s board of directors will build up sizable stock holdings.

Walmart’s board of 12 directors own a total of 5.876 million shares of Walmart stock, with most owned by insiders such as the Walton family or CEO Doug McMillon. The other independent directors control more than 133,813 shares worth $15.917 million. The Bentonville-based company recently paid its directors quarterly retainer fees, according to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Eight of the 12 directors received payment in shares which were reported to the SEC.

Board chairman Greg Penner, 49, received 448 shares of stock on Sept. 30 for his quarterly compensation for board service. Those shares had a value of $25,696 the day they were granted. Penner’s personal Walmart holdings total 60,503 shares with a value of $7.195 million. As a non-executive chairman, Penner earns a $225,000 retainer annually paid 50% in cash and 50% in shares. Indirectly, Penner owns another 482,878 shares with his wife Carrie, granddaughter of Helen and Sam Walton. Penner’s total shareholdings together with his wife are valued at more than $12.907 million.

McMillon is the second-largest shareholder on the board of directors. Because he is an executive director, he does not receive the $100,000 base retainer. McMillon is paid shares as part of his executive compensation package. He directly owns more than 1.308 million shares of Walmart stock valued at more than $155 million. He also owns 1,739  shares in his 401(k) account with a value of roughly $207,000. McMillon also controls 432,000 shares of Walmart stock registered to trusts for his wife and children. Those accounts are valued at $51.377 million. ( A formerly report overstated his 401(k) holdings.)

Rob Walton, son of founders Helen and Sam Walton, has the largest personal stock portfolio of all board members. Walton directly owns more than 3.214 million shares as of Sept. 30. That does not include holdings he has with his siblings held in a trust. Walton’s personal holdings of Walmart shares have a value in excess of $380.955 million. Walton, 74, has been a director since 1978 and worked as general counsel for Walmart after the company became public. He did not receive a retainer fee in shares this past quarter. Directors who have met the stock ownership criteria can elect to take the retainer in cash or defer to another year.

Steuart Walton, a grandson of Helen and Sam Walton, received 253 shares on Sept. 30 as quarterly compensation for his service as a director. That transaction was valued at $30,026. He directly owns 248,873 Walmart shares, according to the SEC filing. Walton, 37, joined the board four years ago when his father, Jim Walton, stepped down. His total personal holdings of Walmart shares total $29.598 million.

Marissa Mayer, 43, received 211 shares for quarterly retainer payment. This quarterly compensation totaled $25,041. Mayer’s direct Walmart holdings total 28,899 shares valued at $3.426 million. She joined the Walmart board seven years ago. Mayer is one of three women on the Walmart board.

Sarah Friar, 46, was elected to the Walmart board three years ago. Her quarterly compensation for her director role totaled 253 shares valued at $30,026. Friar’s total direct Walmart holdings equal 6,630 shares with a value of $788,505.

Walmart director Timothy Flynn, 62, received quarterly compensation of 263 shares with a value of $31,212 on Sept. 30. His direct Walmart shareholdings total 45,739 with a value of $5.439 million. Flynn has been a director for seven years.

Carla Harris, 58, received quarterly board compensation of 105 shares with a value of $12,461. Her direct total stockholding is 7,134 shares with a value of $848,446. Harris was elected to the Walmart board three years ago.

Stephen Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, has been a Walmart director for two years. His quarterly compensation for board service totaled 211 shares with a value of $25,041. His direct Walmart holdings total 5,086 shares with a value of $604,877.

Conde Cesar, 45, became a Walmart director last year. His recent quarterly compensation for that service totaled 211 shares with a value of $25,041 Cesar’s direct Walmart holdings total 2,814 shares with a value of $334,669.

Director Tom Horton and Steve Reinemund opted to take their retainer payments in cash this quarter. Horton, 57, retired chairman at American Airlines, has been a Walmart director since 2014. His Walmart holdings total 11,934 shares with a value of $1.419 million. This year Horton was chosen as the lead independent director. For that role, he earns a $35,000 stipend. Reinemund, 71, retired CEO of PepsiCo, has been a Walmart director since 2010. His direct Walmart holdings total 25,577 shares valued at $3.041 million.

Aside from the $100,000 quarterly retainer fee, directors who serve as committee chairs also receive a $20,000 annual stipend. Walmart also makes annual stock awards to its non-executive directors valued at $175,000, according to the company Proxy filing with SEC.