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Kroger CEO took an 18% pay cut but still made $15.5 million in 2023

That's 502 times the median employee pay at Kroger.
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Posted at 10:37 AM, May 17, 2024

Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen took an 18% pay cut in 2023, but it didn’t keep him from making 502 times the median pay of Kroger employees.

Kroger disclosed compensation details in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. McMullen received $15.5 million in total compensation, down from $19 million a year ago. The biggest change from last year was McMullen’s bonus of $673,000, down from $4.1 million a year ago, thanks to lower profits and slower sales growth than the performance targets set by Kroger's board.

The company exceeded Wall Street expectations when it closed 2023 with a $2.2 billion profit on revenue of $150 billion. But its identical store sales growth grew by 0.9%, compared to 5.6% in 2022.

This year, Kroger is pursuing the largest acquisition in its history by acquiring the Albertsons grocery chain. The Federal Trade Commission is trying to block the deal, claiming it will harm consumers and employees.

Kroger has been criticized in recent years for its high CEO pay ratio, a required SEC disclosure that tracks how much the boss makes compared to the midpoint of all salaries paid to employees. Kroger’s pay ratio peaked in 2020 when McMullen made 789 times the median employee pay. But last year, Kroger’s median pay was $31,302, up 9% from 2022. That means Kroger had a CEO pay ratio of 502 to 1 last year, down from 672 in 2022.

This story was originally published by Dan Monk at Scripps News Cincinnati.