Here's why Kroger's CEO got a double-digit raise

Here's why Kroger's CEO got a double-digit raise
Posted at 12:44 PM, May 12, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen got a 17 percent raise in 2015, as his total compensation package swelled to $11.1 million.

McMullen met or exceeded four of the five goals set by Kroger’s board of directors, achieving a 5 percent growth rate in identical-store sales and $5.2 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – a widely recognized measure of company profitability.

According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, McMullen scored a 23 percent increase in his cash bonus, which came in at just under $3 million. He also saw a 17 percent increase in total stock-related compensation, which accounted for 60 percent of his total compensation.

Kroger had a year of big accomplishments in 2015, including the $800 million purchase of the Roundy’s Supermarkets, the launch of a new private-label brand called HemisFares and the introduction of a new urban-format retail concept, Main & Vine. It also rolled out its ClickList offering, which allows customers to order online and pick up in stores, to 221 locations by the end of April.

McMullen wrote in a letter to shareholders that Kroger will continue to invest in cities where it already competes while pursuing innovation that could boost sales beyond its roughly 2,800 existing stores.

“We look at growth initiatives in three categories: our core business, beyond the core, and innovation,” McMullen wrote in a letter to shareholders. “Balance among these three areas is crucial to our strategy. Too many companies over-focus on innovation in the hopes of discovering the next ‘big thing.’ Balance – the integration of these strategic elements across our business – is how we’ll continue to win with customers and create sustainable long-term value for shareholders.