U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    4,247.44
    +8.26 (+0.19%)
     
  • Dow 30

    34,479.60
    +13.36 (+0.04%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    14,069.42
    +49.09 (+0.35%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,335.81
    +24.40 (+1.06%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    70.78
    +0.49 (+0.70%)
     
  • Gold

    1,879.50
    -16.90 (-0.89%)
     
  • Silver

    28.05
    +0.02 (+0.07%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2107
    -0.0071 (-0.58%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.4620
    +0.0030 (+0.21%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.4117
    -0.0060 (-0.42%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.6350
    +0.2870 (+0.26%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    35,683.50
    -1,489.44 (-4.01%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    924.19
    -17.62 (-1.87%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,134.06
    +45.88 (+0.65%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,948.73
    -9.83 (-0.03%)
     

Who Made What? Fashion’s Highest-Paid Executives

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Executive pay is always a hot button issue — coming at the nexus of class, corporate performance and just, “Wow, that’s a lot of money.”

It’s a tricky topic that has become all the more so during the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown furloughs sent whole segments of the retail workforce home without pay and when stores did open back up, it was front line workers at the bottom of the compensation food chain who were facing the public.

More from WWD

Many chief executive officers took temporary pay cuts to share the pain with workers, and the industry is moving toward a $15 an hour minimum wage.

But sharing the pain is an excessively relative notion when CEOs are seeing multimillion dollar pay packages (even when much of it comes from stock and option grants, the value of which fluctuate with the market and the company’s performances).

The counterpoint is that the people at the top spent that last year making decisions that could make the difference between bankruptcy or a new future and, in the context of multibillion dollar companies, even their mammoth paychecks are small.

With details of C-suite pay packages coming out in the latest round of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the debate can begin anew with the pandemic and more progressive politics under the Biden administration potentially ratcheting it up a notch.

Here, details on the retail and fashion executive pay packages revealed so far, ranked by total compensation.

Executive Pay 2020

Doug McMillon

Walmart Inc., president and CEO

Total Compensation: $22.6 million, up 2.1 percent

Salary: $1.3 million

Stock Awards: $15.8 million

Incentive Pay: $3.8 million

Perks: $102,414 in personal use of company aircraft

Notes: Walmart also paid out a total of $1.5 billion in four special cash bonuses to U.S. hourly associates, which came on top of their regular incentive payments. Paid time off and leave policies were also enhanced during the pandemic while over 500,000 new associates were hired.

Further Reading: Walmart Notches More Highs During the Pandemic

Sonia Syngal
Sonia Syngal

Sonia Syngal

Sonia Syngal

Gap Inc., CEO

Total Compensation: $21.9 million, up 360 percent

Salary: $1.2 million

Stock and Option Awards: $18.7 million

Incentive Pay: $1.8 million

Perks: $94,679 in personal use of the company airplane

Further Reading: Gap Sees $234M Q4 Profit, but Still Logs Losses for 2020

Andrew Meslow

L Brands Inc., CEO

Total Compensation: $18.5 million
Salary: $1.2 million
Stock Awards: $12.3 million
Incentive Pay: $4.5 million

Notes: One of the first tasks for Meslow, who took the CEO reins from founder Leslie Wexner last year, has been to split the company in half after the deal to sell control of Victoria’s Secret to Sycamore Partners fell apart during the pandemic. L Brands is still considering its options and could sell or spin off the business as it focuses on its Bath & Body Works business.

Further Reading: Victoria’s Secret Parent Company Makes a Comeback

Michelle Gass

Kohl’s Corp., CEO

Total Compensation: $12.9 million
Salary: $1.3 million
Bonus: $939,422
Stock and Option Awards: $8.9 million
Incentive Pay: $1.6 million

Perks: Automobile Expense Allowance ($22,249), use of company-owned aircraft ($130,579)

Notes: Kohl’s noted in a regulatory filing that its board’s compensation committee met to set incentive opportunities in March 2020 when all of the company’s stores were closed. The committee set up “a two-part 2020 annual incentive plan with 50 percent based on Kohl’s comparable sales relative to the comparable sales of the performance peer group and 50 percent based on an assessment of management’s ability to lead through the crisis and manage financial liquidity and profitability, as determined by the committee in its discretion.”

Further Reading: Kohl’s CEO Spells out the Game Changers

John Furner

Walmart Inc., president and CEO of Walmart U.S.

Total Compensation: $11.3 million, up 14.8 percent

Salary: $944,567

Stock Awards: $7.7 million

Incentive Pay: $2.1 million

Perks: $115,638 in personal use of company aircraft

Notes: As the hands-on head of the largest U.S. retailer, Furner took a holistic view during the pandemic. “At times, it’s easy to see what the end result is in retail, but you’re not always thinking about the truck drivers and the order fillers and the unloaders, who are doing so much of the retail work in the background,” he said. “The teams learned a lot about how to optimize the assortments, what needs to be in a store versus the fulfillment center and the marketplace.”

Further Reading: Tested by COVID-19, Walmart Leaned on Supply Chain and Customer Service

Jeff Gennette
Jeff Gennette

Jeff Gennette

Jeff Gennette

Macy’s, CEO

Total Compensation: $11.1 million, up 7.5 percent

Salary: $975,000

Stock and Option Awards: $7 million

Incentive Pay: $2.8 million

Notes: Gennette’s salary fell 25 percent as he did not receive compensation starting from April 1, 2020, and for “the duration of the crisis.” Macy’s resumed its normal compensation schedule at the end of June.

Further Reading: Macy’s CEO Pay Tops $11 Million

Chip Bergh

Levi Strauss & Co., president and CEO

Total Compensation: $10.6 million, down 12.6 percent

Salary: $1.4 million

Stock and Option Awards: $7.6 million

Incentive Pay: $1.3 million

Perks: $24,266 in “executive perquisites,” including a health club membership subsidy, event tickets and a car allowance.

Notes: Bergh moved early in the pandemic, preparing to become a smaller, but stronger company. This included cuts to corporate staff and a refocusing of the business that put it on a direct to consumer timetable.

Further Reading: Levi Strauss’ First-quarter Transformation

Pete Nordstrom, Anna Wintour, Brandy Nordstrom
Pete Nordstrom, Anna Wintour, Brandy Nordstrom

Peter Nordstrom

Peter Nordstrom

Nordstrom Inc., president and chief brand officer

Total Compensation: $5.7 million, down 18.4 percent

Salary: $367,419

Stock and Option Awards: $4.2 million

Perks: $21,168 in merchandise discounts

Notes: Brothers Peter and Erik Nordstorm, CEO, received no salary from March 29 to Oct. 3 last year due to the pandemic. On operating in the pandemic, Peter said: “In getting through these challenging times, it creates a lot of focus around priorities. There are so many tactical things happening.”

Further Reading: ‘Unexpected Headwinds’ Drag Nordstrom Sales and Earnings Down

Erik Nordstrom

Nordstrom Inc., CEO

Total Compensation: $5.6 million, down 17.8 percent

Salary: $367,419

Stock and Option Awards: $4.2 million

Perks: $17,602 in merchandise discounts

Notes: Nordstorm received no salary from March 29 to Oct. 3 last year due to the pandemic. But he was busy nonetheless. The department store is in the process of “widening the aperture” on its customer base with plans to expand its digital assortment to potentially 1.5 million items over the next three to five years, up from 300,000 items.

Further Reading: Nordstrom Sets a ‘Closer to You’ Long-term Growth Agenda