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Macy’s CEO Is the Latest Leader to Give Up His Salary Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

Samantha McDonald

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Macy’s has become the latest retailer to announce significant pay cuts for its top executives.

According to a company press release on March 25, chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette will not receive compensation starting April 1. Macy’s also intends to reduce the salaries of its management team, with all those director-level and above expected to take pay reductions that are anticipated to last “for the duration of the crisis.”

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The department store chain added that it was freezing both hiring and spending, as well as working with its retail associations to assess the impact of the proposed government relief bill, which is scheduled for a vote in the House today. The $2 trillion emergency measure, set to become the largest fiscal stimulus package in modern United States history, is expected to provide some aid to the retail sector as the spread of COVID-19 continues to force the closures of many stores across the country.

Top business leaders and other senior executives at a number of companies — from athletic and outdoor retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods to sportswear giant Puma — are forgoing their salaries or receiving reduced pay in hopes of keeping businesses and many of their workers’ jobs intact as stores remain shuttered.

On March 17, Macy’s announced that it would temporarily shut down all outposts until the end of the month, including its namesake chain, Macy’s Backstage and Market by Macy’s locations as well as Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s the Outlet and Bluemercury stores. The retailer assured workers that they will continue to receive pay and benefits during this period.

To improve its financial flexibility, Macy’s has also suspended its quarterly dividend, deferred capital spend and tapped its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility. It withdrew its sales and earnings outlook for the 2020 fiscal year and did not offer an updated forecast amid the crisis.

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