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Loblaws paid Galen Weston $8.4M last year, up from $5.4M in 2021

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Galen Weston was paid $8.4 million last year to run Rob Rose. This was up from the previous year’s level after management consultants determined he was underpaid.

Weston, the descendant of one of Canada’s wealthiest families, made $8.4 million last year as president and chairman of his family’s grocery chain Loblaws, according to Loblaw Cos Ltd.’s regulatory filings. Received strong dollar salaries, bonuses and stock-based compensation. .

This is up from just over $5.4 million in total compensation received from the company in 2021. The year before he was in 2020, Weston earned a total of $3,549,591 from her Loblaws.

Catherine Thomas, spokeswoman for Loblaw Cos. Ltd., said it is misleading to view his compensation plan as a raise as she just took over the title of president and chairman in May 2021. Prior to that, he was the executive chairman of Loblaws. .

“The increase from 2021 to 2022 reflects the fact that he will be returning to full-time Rob Lowe in 2021,” she told CBC News in an email.

Weston is also compensated for his role as Chairman and CEO of George Weston Ltd., a holding company that manages much of the family wealth through voting rights management of Loblaws, real estate divisions, Choice Properties, and other assets. increase. His total compensation for both companies is based on a complex formula where 70% of his compensation comes from his Loblaws and 30% from Weston.

Weston’s compensation bump is The Globe and Mail first reportedincluding compensation from George Weston Ltd., total compensation for the two companies is approximately $11.8 million, an increase from $10.6 million in 2021 to more than $9 million in 2020.

The company that bears his name is Weston, but he and his company have drawn consumer ire this year as Canada’s largest Galen Weston’s position as head of domestic grocery chain Loblaws. Over the past year he has increased by more than 10%.

Mr. Weston was one of a number of executives who investigated rising food costs from lawmakers at a congressional subcommittee last month. “I can’t help it,” said Weston of the company’s record profit last year, when he hit just over $1.9 billion. “I’m going back to this country”

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Grocery CEO refutes price hike allegations

At a committee hearing in Ottawa this week, the heads of Loblaw, Metro and Empire Foods faced tough questions from lawmakers about why food prices continue to rise. All three countries vigorously refuted claims that they profited from high inflation.

Weston’s compensation increased last year on the recommendation of Meridian Compensation Partners, an outside consultancy hired by the grocery chain in 2020 to ensure Rob Rose’s executive compensation plan is acceptable.

Meridian will be paid $122,806 in 2022 and $118,574 in 2021, said Loblaws, and reviewed the company’s executive compensation policy.

“below the market median”

That review found that most of the company’s upper echelons were paid in line with internal goals and external benchmarks, but Weston himself was not.

“As a result of the 2022 review, Mr. Weston’s total direct compensation was below the market median and Roblow’s compensation policy targets,” said a company management proxy last year.

As president of the company, Weston earned a base salary of $907,200, but also earns various types of stock-based compensation. The company’s short-term incentive plan was recently increased, allowing him to receive up to 160% of his base salary, and his long-term incentive program was increased to 560%. Both ratios are higher than any other executive at the company.

A customer in a brown jacket is looking at meat in the aisle of a grocery store.
Customers shop at a Metro grocery store in Montreal on October 26, 2022. Food prices are rising faster than inflation. (Ivano Demers/CBC)

Other executives at the company have also witnessed increases in compensation, even though compensation formulas have been found to be acceptable. His chief financial officer, Richard Dufresne, sees his total compensation increase from just over $1.8 million in 2021 to more than $5.4 million last year.

And Chief Operating Officer Robert Sawyer’s total compensation increased from $7.4 million in 2021 to just over $9.3 million last year. This surpasses Weston himself.

Mr. Thomas said it wasn’t just directors and executives who got raises this year, but many regular employees also received performance-based bonuses.

“Our bonus program is designed to reward company and individual performance, not just executives. This year, 40,000 Loblaw colleagues received bonuses,” she said. Told.

In addition to his duties as president, Weston also serves as chairman of the company’s board of directors. He is one of the only board members who did not receive compensation for his board duties last year. He is also the only member of the senior management team who is ineligible for any kind of severance pay if removed from his role as president, and the only member of the senior management team who is ineligible for a pension. .

Similar trends elsewhere

Loblaws have become a major focus of consumer anger in the current era of food inflation, but other grocery store executive compensation plans are in line with Loblaws’ and headed in the same direction.

Eric La Fleche, CEO of grocery chain Metro, received a total of $5.3 million in compensation last year, according to the Montreal-based company’s mandate. This is up from his $5,018,907 the year before.

Michael Medline, CEO of Nova Scotia-based Empire Company, which owns grocery brands such as Sobey’s, Safeway, FreshCo and Foodland, received a total of $8,651,285 in compensation last year. This was up from just over $7.4 million he earned the year before, but down from his over $13 million earned in 2020, with stock options alone granting him over $8 million. .

The two sat alongside Weston on a congressional committee last month.

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Loblaw CEO Earns $1.2 Million More As Grocery Prices Rise

Grocery store CEO Galen Weston earned another $1.2 million from Loblaw last year, but for some Canadians struggling to pay for groceries, this doesn’t work. But the company said an outside contractor decided Weston’s salary was too low.

Tom Hesse, Local 401 Chairman of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents thousands of workers at Loblaws, Sobeys and other chains, said the current focus on food prices is much needed on compensation issues. He says he’s getting more attention.

“I say this to Canadian consumers,” he told the CBC in an interview. So no, they’re just in the executive’s pocket.”

“They can’t afford to shop where they work,” Hesse said of some of the workers he represents. “Customers expressed anger at frontline workers, [but] They are not the profiteers of the pandemic. Only those who sit on the grocery throne. “

Ian Lee, associate professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business in Ottawa, says the focus on executive pay is wrong.

“Whether you’re an entertainer, a musician, an athlete or a CEO, there’s supply and demand, you either pay the market price or you lose it,” he told CBC News in an interview.

He admits there is little risk that Weston will leave the family-run company, but other executives Weston has taken his role will be paid similar sums.

“We can beat people by embarrassing them, but all we are doing is setting conditions that Canada is not a good place to invest. Because when you make a lot of money, politicians beat you.

Lee says Weston has become the target of much ire not only because of his wealth (estimated at more than $9 billion by US financial magazine Forbes), but because of the Rob Low brand, which appears in a series of Rob Low ads. He says it’s because it’s just a face. campaign.

“It’s one thing to make him the CEO of a company, and it’s one thing to put them in the company’s operational advertising,” he said. It would probably be strategically wise not to emphasize someone like him.”

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