Lowe’s pays CEO Ellison $11.6 million in 2019

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Lowe’s Cos. CEO Marvin Ellison received $11.6 million in total compensation in his first full calendar year at the Mooresville-based retailer, down from $14.3 million in the previous year, according to the company’s newly released proxy.

Ellison and the other four highest-paid Lowe’s executives did not receive bonuses last year, though they were issued stock awards that vest over time. Ellison received a stock award of $6.4 million, compared with $7.6 million in 2018. He also received a $1.2 million contribution to his pension plan.

Chief Financial Officer David Denton is the company’s second-highest paid executive, receiving $5.8 million in compensation last year, including $3.2 million in stock awards.

Three other senior executives — Joseph McFarland III, who heads stores; William Boltz, who heads merchandising; and Seemantini Godbole, chief information officer — each received total compensation of about $4 million.

Ellison joined Lowe’s in July 2018 and has dramatically overhauled the company’s senior executive ranks. He’s making a big push in boosting the company’s online sales efforts, which had lagged rival The Home Depot. He’s a former CEO of JCPenney who also was an executive at The Home Depot and Target.

The most recent executive departure at Lowe’s is Jennifer Weber, the chief human resources officer since 2016 who left the company on April 6. She had been among Lowe’s five highest-paid executives in recent years. She received severance pay of $2.5 million payable over the next 24 months, according to a company filing. She is chairman of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.

The proxy also noted that former Krispy Kreme Doughnuts CEO James Morgan is stepping down as a Lowe’s director after five years.  He’s not being replaced, as the board is reduced to 11 members. The company’s annual meeting is scheduled for May 29 in Charlotte.

Lowe’s had a total stockholder return of 88% in the last five years through Jan. 31, 2020, ranking in the 54th percentile of its peer group of 15 large U.S. retailers.

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