Mayer, 36, will stand for election at the annual shareholder meeting on June 1 and would become the board’s 16th member if selected, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart said today in a statement. She has been vice president of Local and Maps for Google since 2010.
Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke has been working to improve Wal-Mart’s online-retailing operations, hiring more than 200 workers for its @WalmartLabs digital unit and acquiring five technology firms since May. The push comes as Wal-Mart’s traditional, lower-income customers are getting more tech savvy and less-strapped shoppers who began frequenting Wal-Mart during the recession discover rivals such as Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
“It goes back to their strategy of acquiring expertise in areas where they don’t have core competencies,” Natalie Berg, analyst with research firm Planet Retail in London, said in a phone interview. “I’m sure they will try to glean from her expertise and apply it to their online strategy.”
Sales at Wal-Mart rose 6 percent last year, compared with a 41 percent gain for Amazon’s revenue. Wal-Mart doesn’t provide revenue data for its online operations. Online sales amounted to less than 2 percent of Wal-Mart’s revenue, according to research firm Kantar Retail.
With locations in San Bruno, California, and Bangalore, India, @WalmartLabs was set up to help Wal-Mart improve its website and devise new ways for consumers to shop online and using smartphones. The unit also works with social media to find consumer retail trends.
Mayer began her career at Mountain View, California-based Google in 1999 as its first female engineer and serves on the boards of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Ballet, according to the statement.
Pay for most of Wal-Mart’s top executives fell in fiscal 2012 because the retailer didn’t hit key performance metrics, the company said today in a proxy statement. Wal-Mart measures sales, operating income and return on investment to determine bonuses.
Duke’s total compensation for the company’s last fiscal year was $18.1 million, down 3.1 percent from the prior year. His incentive-plan bonus fell to $2.88 million from $3.85 million a year earlier.
Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley’s pay fell 38 percent to $5.1 million. Compensation for Bill Simon, who is president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, dropped 40 percent to $8.44 million.
The only named executive whose pay rose from the previous year was Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s international operations. His total compensation rose 24 percent to about $11 million, most of which came from $8.57 million in company stock awards.
Neil Ashe, who was hired in January as president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s e-commerce operations, was paid a salary of about $40,000 and given $10.7 million in stock awards.
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