Duke, who retired Jan. 31, had $140.1 million in deferred compensation at year’s end, Wal-Mart said Wednesday in its annual proxy filing. That’s more than $27 million over what Duke had accumulated in retirement accounts in 2013, when governance experts noted that was more than 6,000 times greater than what the average Wal-Mart employee had stashed in 401K retirement accounts.
Duke’s fiscal 2014 compensation dropped more than 70% to $5.6 million from $20.7 million in the prior fiscal year, mostly due to the absence of a stock award.
Duke gained another $17 million from vested shares and nearly $2.9 million exercising previously awarded stock options.
Duke, 64, had been CEO since February 2009 and previously oversaw Wal-Mart International and Wal-Mart U.S. Before joining the company, Duke was with the Federated and May department store chains.
Wal-Mart has noted that Duke had been with the company since 1995 and that his deferred pay and compensation was tied both to a competitive marketplace and his length of service.
Barbara Gertz, who works as an overnight stocker at an Aurora, Colo., Wal-Mart, and has been lobbying for higher wages as part of the OUR Walmart labor organization, says Duke’s exit package “is a slap in the face” to hourly paid workers.
“Many of us are forced to rely on taxpayer-supported programs just to cover our basic needs, and even then, we’re still just scraping by,” says Gertz, 46.
Duke’s successor, C. Douglas McMillon, saw his compensation soar to $25.6 million from $9.5 million. The bulk of McMillon’s gain came from a $23 million stock grant. Wal-Mart said the grant is tied to McMillon’s promotion and payouts tied to three years of corporate performance metrics.
Wal-Mart shares gained about 7% during the last fiscal year, lagging the Standard & Poors 500 Index, which gained 32%. Under Duke’s five-year watch, shares rose nearly 60%.