$12.68 Million Paid To Three Supervalu CEOs In Fiscal ’12

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Despite another putrid year of earnings and sales at Supervalu, the three chief executive officers who have led the troubled Eden Prairie, MN retailer/wholesaler received a combined $12.68 million in compensation according to recent Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.

Former CEO Craig Herkert, who was fired last July from Supervalu after slightly more than three years at the helm, was paid $4.69 million in fiscal 2012, up 23 percent from the previous year. That included $375,000 in base salary and an additional $1.39 million in stock and option awards. The majority of Herkert’s compensation, $2.75 million, was paid as severance.

After Herkert’s departure, non-executive chairman Wayne Sales stepped in as CEO (Sales was responsible for bringing Herkert on board in 2009). For his nine-month tour, Sales was paid $5.28 million, which included a bonus of $1.63 million, stock awards of $2.74 million, and a base salary of $865,000. Sales also was also scheduled to receive as much as $12.8 million as a “golden parachute.”

While Sales “earned” an exorbitant amount in his brief tenure, he (and financial advisors Goldman, Sachs and Greenhill & Co.) did find a buyer for Supervalu (Cerberus Capital Management). Prior to the March 21 closing of the deal, Sam Duncan was hired first as a consultant, and then as CEO of Supervalu in February. Duncan’s compensation in fiscal 2012 was $2.71 million (a $500,000 bonus and $2.1 million in option awards).

Contrasting to the large financial packages offered to the three CEOs and other current and former senior executives, Supervalu has aggressively sought to cut personnel and restrict other benefits.