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Walmart, Dillard’s Execs Top List of Highest Pay

3 min read

Walmart Inc. executives dominate this week’s list of public company executives ranked by total compensation reported to the Securities & Exchange Commission, starting with the former PayPal executive who joined the Bentonville retailer as CFO last summer.

John David Rainey succeeded Brett Biggs as CFO in June 2022. As Walmart has done with other major hires, Rainey received a massive injection of stock awards — $32 million worth. But most of the awards vest over a four-year period, so he didn’t have to lug all that money to the bank at once.

Get The List: Public Companies’ Executive Compensation – Named executive officers of public companies ranked by total compensation.

Walmart is the largest company in the world both in terms of revenue ($611.29 billion in the year that ended Jan. 31) and employees (2.3 million), so its place at the top of the list of Arkansas public companies is a given. Six of the 10 highest-paid executives work for Walmart, including No. 2 CEO Doug McMillon and No. 5 Suresh Kumar, the global chief technology and development officer who was granted more than $43 million in stock awards when he was hired in 2019.

Biggs also made the list. His compensation for a little more than four months of employment during the fiscal year was a smidge over $2 million.


Nos. 3 and 4 among the highest-paid executives are brothers Alex Dillard, president of Dillard’s Inc. of Little Rock, and William T. Dillard II, its CEO. They and two more siblings, EVPs Mike Dillard and Drue Matheny, are among six “named executive officers” on the list.

The company also reports the compensation of six other executives to the SEC because of family connections. Five are members of the Dillard family, and list newcomer Matthew Banks, head of state tax for the department store chain, is the son-in-law of Phillip Watts, co-principal financial officer and principal accounting officer.

Making its first appearance on the list of Arkansas public companies is Westrock Coffee Co. of Little Rock. Westrock went public in August by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, Riverview Acquisition Corp. of Memphis.

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

Westrock CEO Scott Ford, however, was a fixture on the list of public company executives when he was CEO of Alltel Corp. In fact, Ford’s compensation of more than $146 million in 2007, the year Alltel was sold to private equity investors, was a record for Arkansas executives until 2016. That’s when Walmart bought Jet.com of Hoboken, New Jersey, and awarded its founder, Marc Lore, $242 million in restricted stock units when he joined the company as an executive vice president. (Lore resigned in 2021.)

While most companies report compensation for at least five named executive officers, Westrock names only three: CEO Scott Ford, CFO T. Christopher Pledger and Ford’s son, William A. Ford, executive vice president and group president for Westrock Beverage Solutions. (Scott Ford’s father, Joe T. Ford, is chairman of the board.)

Missing from the list of public companies this year are USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren, which was acquired in September by privately held German logistics giant DB Schenker, and Envirotech Vehicles Inc. of Osceola, which had not filed an annual report with the SEC by press time.

Envirotech, which relocated from California in April 2022, had originally planned to start making electric vehicles this year but has since pushed the timeline to the spring of 2025. Envirotech named a new CFO and a new controller in April after restating revenue and costs for the first three quarters of 2022, and it notified the SEC in May that its annual report would be delayed.

Canoo Inc., another electric vehicle maker, appears on the list of public companies and its executives are on the list ranked by compensation because it announced in 2021 that it would relocate its headquarters from Torrance, California, to Bentonville. However, its only filing with the SEC this month still listed Torrance as its hometown.

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