Pay for top six Walmart execs reaches almost $80 million

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 3,002 views 

Walmart’s top six executives cumulatively received total compensation of $79.93 million in fiscal 2021 which ended Feb. 1. The combined salaries and benefits equate to $9,124 for every hour of the year.

The 2021 pay is down from $87.883 million reported a year ago which included a $44 million sign-on bonus and stock awards for Suresh Komar, the global chief technology officer who joined Walmart from Google in 2020.

Compensation details were released late Thursday (April 22) in the retail giant’s 120-page annual proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Walmart reported total revenue of $559.2 billion last year, an increase of $35.2 billion, or 6.7%, and eCommerce sales grew 79% amid the pandemic. The stellar financials paid off well for the company’s top executives.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon saw his pay improve slightly in 2021 to $22.574 million, up 2.2% from the $22.105 million reported a year ago. McMillion had a base salary of $1.272 million, plus $130,000 that was deferred until next year. His base salary was $1.276 million a year ago. His cash bonus of $3.816 million was incentive-based with 75% of the bonus coming from operating Income and 25% coming from sales revenue. Amid the pandemic, Walmart hit its highest goals well above the maximum threshold of 125% in all of its operating segments. This produced the highest possible bonus for McMillon and the top execs.

“In addition to the solid financial performance, during fiscal 2021 McMillon continued to accelerate Walmart’s transformation strategy to become the primary destination for customers by integrating our retail stores and eCommerce into a seamless customer experience” the proxy stated.

The proxy also revealed the ratio of McMillon’s compensation to the median employee income in fiscal 2021. McMillon’s $22.574 million was 1,078 times that of the $20,942 the median Walmart employee earned last year.

Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs had total compensation of $9.123 million last year. Biggs’ compensation grew 3.68% from the $8,798,491 earned a year ago, according to the proxy. His cash bonus was also paid at the highest level because of the company’s strong financial metrics in fiscal 2021. His incentive-based pay totaled $1,752 million, up from $1.575 million in the prior year.

Suresh Kumar, global chief technology and development officer at Walmart, first joined the retail giant in fiscal 2020. Kumar’s total compensation was $11.737 million in fiscal 2021. His income declined from $45.898 million in the prior year, which included $43.6 million in restricted stock awards that pay off over the next five years.

John Furner, the CEO of Walmart U.S., had total compensation of $11.331million last year, up compared with $9.874 million in fiscal 2020. His base salary was $944,567, plus $52,000 which he deferred until next year. Furner took over as CEO of Walmart U.S. in November 2019 after running Sam’s Club for more than two years. Furner’s cash incentive bonus totaled $2.125 million, higher than the $1.855 million cash bonus earned a year ago. He is credited with increased comparable sales growth of 8.7%, last year. Net sales were $370 billion and e-Commerce sales grew 79% with continued improvement toward profitability.

Walmart has two women in its top executive realm and each is earning total compensation above $12 million for fiscal 2021. Judith McKenna, CEO of Walmart International since 2019, earned $12.012 million last year, slightly lower than the $12.922 million from the prior year. Her base salary totaled $1.088 million, up 2.06% from the prior year. The bonus pay was also higher at $2.449 million in fiscal 2021 as McKenna also received the highest possible payout from the strong financial performance. McKenna is credited with growing international sales by 1%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis.

Sam’s Club CEO Kathryn McLay earned $12.957 million in fiscal 2021, lower than the $13.508 million reported the prior year because of added stock awards as she took over the CEO role in November 2019. Her base salary as CEO of Sam’s Club was $780,000 last year, up from $640,409 in her first year. McLay also received her maximum bonus in fiscal 2021 which totaled $2.267 million, above the $1.755 million in cash bonuses the year before. McLay oversaw 8.7% growth in comparable sales last year with e-commerce sales growth of 40%. She is also credited with growing membership income by 9.4% over the past year.

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