…But Walmart executives aren’t feeling the same pain. While the company’s malaise is clearly laid out in financial tables — numbers don’t lie, after all — when it comes to figuring the performance pay of top executives, let’s just say the numbers can be made to fib.
Each year, when measuring top executives’ performance for pay purposes, the company says it makes various “adjustments” to its recorded financial results. In 2014, those adjustments resulted in better performance than reported in the audited statements. That enhanced performance meant higher incentive pay for executives.
Walmart routinely adjusts its results for pay calculations, the proxy said, so they can be “computed on a comparable basis from performance period to performance period.” The company wants to exclude the impact of what accountants sometimes call extraordinary items — events not likely to happen again the next year.
David Tovar, a Walmart spokesman, said the adjustments were intended to encourage executives to make the right decisions for the business. “For example, we don’t want a delay in restructuring or store closings to be influenced because management could take into consideration how it might impact their bonus,” he said.
Sometimes, these adjustments have brought down executive pay at Walmart; this occurred in 2012. But adjustments for the dismal 2014 wound up padding it.
This year, the company included far more adjustments than in recent years. The impact of 11 “significant” items — including store closings, delays in store openings and the sale of operations — was eliminated from its results. In each of the four previous years, the number of adjustments never exceeded five.
- Because, you know, why should an executive’s pay be linked to their performance? What are you – a fuckin’ Commie? ↩
- Far more worrisome is the apparent fact that masses of Americans can not afford to spend money, even at the cut-throat prices Walmart charges; does that sound like the recession is officially over and companies are hiring again to you? ↩