Transplanted Executives Dominate Pay List

Transplanted Executives Dominate Pay List
(From left) Vijay Manthripragada, CEO of Montrose Environmental Group; Tony Aquila, CEO of Canoo Inc.; and Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart.

The injection of two public company transplants has shaken up this year’s list of executives ranked by total compensation. Tens of millions of dollars worth of stock awards put the CEOs of Montrose Environmental Group and Canoo Inc. ahead of the usual cadre of Walmart executives. 

Montrose entered Arkansas in 2020 with the purchase of privately held CTEH of North Little Rock, a scientific consulting firm specializing in emergency preparedness, response and recovery, then in 2021 moved its headquarters there from Irvine, California. Its CEO, Vijay Manthripragada, is No. 1 on the list of executive compensation with $58.4 million, more than $57 million of which came in the form of stock awards and stock options.

Manthripragada is followed by Tony Aquila, CEO of Canoo Inc., the electric vehicle manufacturer that announced last year that it will be moving its headquarters from Torrance, California, to northwest Arkansas. His total compensation of $44.6 million included $43.9 million worth of stock.

No. 3 is Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, whose total compensation of $25.7 million in the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31 included $19.2 million worth of stock. He is followed by four more Montrose executives whose $400,000 salaries were each supplemented by more than $15 million in stock awards and $5 million worth of options.

Dominance on the executive compensation list does not, however, translate into dominance on this year’s roundup of public companies ranked by profitability. Canoo, which reported a net loss of $346.8 million in 2021, and Montrose, which lost $25.3 million, were the least profitable of Arkansas’ public companies. Canoo, in fact, reported no revenue at all last year. 

Walmart, naturally, was the most profitable company with net income of $13.9 billion on revenue of $572.8 billion.

Median Employee Pay

Arkansas public companies ranked by median employee compensation

Uniti Group Inc., Little Rock


ArcBest Inc., Fort Smith


J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., Lowell   


Simmons First National Corp., Pine Bluff


America’s Car-Mart Inc., Rogers


Bank OZK, Little Rock


USA Truck Inc., Van Buren 


Tyson Inc., Springdale 


Home BancShares Inc., Conway


Dillard’s Inc., Little Rock 


Walmart Inc., Bentonville 


Murphy USA Inc., El Dorado 


*Identified as a “full-time store associate”
**Identified as “a part-time store employee”

Sources: Proxy statements filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission by companies subject to median salary reporting requirement

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