Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Duke received compensation valued at $18.7 million last year, less than a year earlier, as U.S. store sales dropped.
Duke, 61, received incentive pay, which is tied to Wal- Mart’s financial performance, of $3.85 million in the year ended Jan. 31, down from $4.8 million a year earlier, according to a securities filing today. His salary rose 2.4 percent to $1.23 million, based on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. A year earlier, Duke’s compensation totaled $19.2 million.
Sales by Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores open for at least 12 months have fallen for seven straight quarters, spurring Duke to overhaul his U.S. management team since last year and return thousands of items to shelves. Unemployment and rising gas prices have some consumers tightening budgets in the U.S. where the company’s Wal-Mart stores generate almost two-thirds of revenue.
“We were simply not satisfied with the net sales results in Walmart U.S. last year,” Duke said in the company’s 2011 annual shareholders report. The retailer will hold its annual meeting June 3 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Stock awards for Duke, CEO since February 2009, declined slightly to $12.65 million last year. Duke’s perks, including the use of company aircraft and a home security system, totaled $477,000 last year, up 50 percent.
Wal-Mart also agreed today to buy closely held social media company Kosmix Corp. for an undisclosed sum to expand its online operations. The Mountain View, California-based company, founded in 2004, will be part of the retail giant’s newly formed @WalmartLabs unit, which will explore how consumers shop using social media and mobile phones, the company said in a statement.
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