Wal-Mart reports execs’ pay up

U.S. reporting rule skews data for year, retailer says

— Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported increases in pay Monday for its top five executives for the fiscal year that ended Jan. 29, though the company said the reported compensation was skewed by a federal reporting rule.

The figures, disclosed in the company’s annual proxy statement, come after the world’s largest retailer fared comparatively well during most of the recession but reported a decline in fourth quarter sales at stores open at least a year.

“I’m really proud of the performance of our team around the world and the results Walmart delivered for fiscal year 2010 in a year challenged by a difficult economy in all of our markets,” Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, said in a letter to shareholders.

Duke received $19.2 million in total compensation for the fiscal year, according to the proxy. Of that total, $1.2 million was in salary with the balance in stock awards, nonstock incentive plans, changes in pension plan value and deferred compensation and other awards.

While the total figure was down from $28.4 million the previous year, spokesman Greg Rossiter said a Securities and Exchange Commission requirement mandated that the company report for fiscal 2009 the full value of stock awards connected to his promotion to CEO that year will vest over several years.

“The full value of the one-time awards was approximately $11.4 million. Soif you exclude that amount, his fiscal 2009 compensation was approximately $17 million versus $19.2 million in fiscal 2010,” Rossiter said.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart rival Target Corp. reported that Greg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, received total direct compensation for the year of $16.1 million, up from $10 million a year ago.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores U.S., who gained the additional title of vice chairman in November 2008, received stock grants counted for fiscal 2009 that boosted his total compensation to $18.6 million. For fiscal 2010, his reported total compensation fell to $13.9 million.

Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer, saw his total compensation rise marginally to $7.22 million from $7.16 million.

Brian Cornell, whose earnings are listed for the first time among the company’s top five officers, received total compensation of $14.3 million. He joined the company as president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club in April 2009 and also is a Wal-Mart executive vice president.

Also on Monday, Wal-Mart said Steven Reinemund, a former PepsiCo Inc. chief executive officer, has been nominated for election to the company’s board of directors. Wal-Mart said that Allen Questrom, a board member since 2007 and the retired chairman and chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co. Inc., will not seek re-election to the board, as reported last week by a retail trade publication.

Wal-Mart’s stock closed Monday at $54.39 a share, up 28 cents or 0.52 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange. It has traded between $47.35 and $56.27 in the past year.

Business, Pages 23 on 04/20/2010

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