- Walmart hasn't followed through on a plan last year to cut some executives' cash bonuses by 25%, according to a Bloomberg story from Wednesday.
- An analysis of Walmart's proxy statements by Bloomberg Pay Index found that the retailer didn’t use the reduced target amounts when calculating the latest bonuses for CEO Doug McMillon and three other executives. "The discrepancy resulted in payments of $3.12 million in excess of what was stated in the most recent proxies," Bloomberg reported.
- Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove told Retail Dive in an email that the bonus cuts weren't meant to happen until 2020. "A transition component for the program was inadvertently not reflected in the 2017 proxy statement, however we do not believe this was material to the overall description of our executive compensation program," the company said in an emailed statement. Walmart also said that the proxy statements "accurately reflect the total compensation paid" executives in 2017 and 2018.
Walmart has struggled with perceptions that it doesn't adequately pay its hourly workers. Recent bumps in wages and benefits, announced in the new year, could help temper that.
The longstanding criticism over its hourly pay has come not only from worker advocates, but also from states and fiscal watchdogs who argue many Walmart employees are a significant drain on taxpayer-funded social welfare programs.
Walmart's increases might help quell criticism and also bring its hourly compensation closer to that of rivals. Target recently moved to a starting wage of $12 per hour with an aim for $15. But Costco has enjoyed the warmest reputation when it comes to giving workers above-average pay and benefits.
Friday's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission prompted a flurry of coverage contrasting Walmart's wage scale with its executive pay, including a note in a from Footwear News report that McMillon’s compensation for fiscal 2018 was $22.8 million — 1,188 times the compensation of its median associate, which the publication pegged at $19,177.