The CEO who pulled the trigger on decisions that will put thousands of Walmart employees out of work during 2018 has a $22 million pay package and has set aside more than $73 million in deferred compensation.
A definitive proxy statement filed in April with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides details of CEO Doug McMillon’s compensation and puts him in an entirely different universe from Walmart employees, many of whom are paid at or just above minimum wage — if they are able to continue working for the company.
Hundreds of workers at the company’s central headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, lost their jobs this week, according to Arkansas Online.
A small round of cuts of an unspecified number of employees took place Wednesday in Walmart’s marketing department while hundreds were let go Thursday in the merchandising, real estate, finance, human resources, technology, logistics, and global business services departments, Arkansas Online reports.
This is the second straight year Walmart has cut corporate positions in January. In 2017, the company eliminated the jobs of approximately 1,000 employees.
The workers who lost their jobs this week are about to be joined by thousands of others.
Walmart has announced plans to close 63 Sam’s Club stores across the United States, a move that is expected to put thousands out of work.
The company’s Project Kepler, a plan to create stores that operate without cashiers and checkers, is expected to be launched in a small number of locations, Recode reports, continuing Walmart’s trend of trimming employees through an increasing number of self-checkout lines in its stores.
Walmart has also eliminated 3,500 co-manager positions. Those workers are eligible to apply for other positions in the company, including newly created, lower-paying assistant manager jobs.
McMillon and the Walmart upper management team have taken steps to ensure their displaced former employees will be able to deal with their new situation.
The laid-off employees will be paid for 60 days, and if they are unable to find other work at the end of that period, the company will provide a severance package of an unspecified amount.
A company that deals with workers who have lost their jobs due to layoffs has been brought in to help the workers find new positions.
Those are steps that McMillon will never have to go through if he should ever be fired or lose his job due to a change of ownership.
The SEC filing reveals McMillon is guaranteed a severance package equal to two times his base salary or $2,544,000.
Even without that, it is unlikely he would become destitute, according to the definitive proxy statement. In addition to the $73 million in deferred compensation, McMillon has more than $50 million worth of Walmart stock.
During 2016, as part of his $22,352,143 pay package, McMillon received a $15,900 payment into his 401K account and $80,477 for personal use of the company’s airplane.
Though hundreds lost this jobs this week and more are expected to become unemployed in the near future, not all of the news has been on the negative side for Walmart employees. Last month, the company announced it was increasing its starting wage to $11 an hour and will provide bonuses to all employees of up to $1,000, based on how long they have worked for Walmart. The company credited the decision to award bonuses to the Trump tax cut.
Also, a company news release announced the promotion, to take effect February 1, of one employee, Judith McKenna, currently executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart US, to president and CEO of Walmart International.
With the promotion comes a base salary pay increase to $1,040,200 annually, according to an SEC filing. Though her total pay package is not spelled out in the filing, the man she will replace, David Cheeseright, who is retiring, received a base salary of $1,071,743 and a total pay package of $12,552,853 in 2016.