Companies and Brands

This Is How Much Walmart's Top Executives Made in 2023

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The rise in executive compensation compared to the stagnation of employee wages in American companies has gained significant attention in recent years, and for good reason. It has always been a problem, but it is a problem that has swollen to monumental levels in the last two decades, expanding at unprecedented rates. But what are the data and facts behind the complaints and the arguments? If you’ve ever wondered what executives at top-performing companies earn in comparison to the regular employees, look no further. For this article, we will look at how much Walmart’s (NYSE:WMT) top executives made in 2023 and give you information about that compensation.

Walmart Executive Compensation Background

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Walmart employees often need help to make ends meet.

Some of the arguments against addressing the wage gap are levied at the supporters themselves. It is said that supporters are greedy and simply want to take money that doesn’t belong to them. However, this argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of “ownership” and the logical basis of the wage gap issue. The opinion of modern capitalists is that because a person owns a company, anything that company produces is also owned by that person, and the profits of selling that object are his to do with as he wishes. But this is a wholly modern and Western development.

Advocates for addressing the wage gap, however, believe, among other things, that those who actually create the object of value being sold should share equally in the value that is generated. A Walmart store can operate without a CEO and CFO for many months, but it cannot operate without cashiers, truckers, stockers, and other workers. Also, they believe that human beings should be treated as, well, human beings, not replaceable machine parts that can be paid as low a wage as possible until they die and are replaced. It is inhumane to expect a human being to “earn” the right to live, eat, drink, and simply survive. If a person contributes to the functioning of society, they should be able to participate in and enjoy that society without worrying about their children starving.

The wage gap is a serious issue that plagues almost every company in the United States. Walmart is no exception. The median employee compensation at Walmart is only $27,136. The Walmart CEO pay ratio (which is a measure of how many times more than the median employee pay the CEO is paid) is 933:1. So, Walmart CEO, C. Douglas McMillon, makes 933 times as much as the average employee (not the lowest-paid employee). Keep in mind that Walmart’s CEO is not their highest-paid executive.

Additionally, unlike those who work in the stores, company executives often receive regular raises or increases to their compensation, and those raises are of a higher percentage than regular employee raises. Also, much of executive compensation is paid in the form of equity, which increases in value over time if the company does well, so the true value of their annual pay is more today than it was when it was paid.

As a result of all this, the United States Government is the biggest subsidizer of Walmart’s wages since millions of Walmart workers are on government assistance of some kind.

The information for this article was taken from public records (specifically, statements to the SEC) for Walmart and its subsidiaries. We only included the compensation for top executives, not the board members of Walmart. For each person, we include their position at the time of their 2023 report.

1. C. Douglas McMillon

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Douglas McMillon, CEO.

There are almost 11,000 locations worldwide of this greatly favored and much maligned retail behemoth.

  • Position: President and CEO
  • 2023 compensation: $24,115,143 

McMillon became CEO of Walmart in 2014 after leading the Sam’s Club division from 2005 to 2009 and Walmart International from 2009 to 2013. He is Walmart’s fifth CEO and regularly features on the Forbes World’s Most Powerful People list.

McMillon took over the position during a time of high stress when Walmart was facing strong competition from Costco, Amazon, growing grocery store chains, discount stores, and a growing consumer mentality about sustainable and responsible shopping.

To his credit, McMillon made addressing Walmart’s low wages a priority during his first few years. In 2015 he raised the lowest wage to $9, then to $10 in 2016, which raised the wage of 1.4 million people. Defending his decision against complaints, McMillion argued that a higher wage would lead to a happier workforce which would lead to better customer service and a better foundation for a changing retail industry. Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States, so changes like this, while small, make a big difference.

McMillon has sought to make a positive difference during his term. He ceased the sale of confederate flags, ended the sales of military-style weapons and ammunition for handguns and non-hunting rifles, and has used his position to speak out against important issues.

2. M. Brett Biggs

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A Franklin, Tennessee location.
  • Position: CFO
  • 2023 compensation: $1,749,219 

In 2021, Walmart announced that Biggs would be transitioning away from the company. Biggs worked for Walmart for 22 years and left the company in January of 2023 and was paid over $1 million for his time. He was hired by Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) in August of 2023. Current CFO John David Rainey replaced Biggs.

3. John Furner

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A Canadian Walmart.
  • Position: President and CEO, Walmart U.S.
  • 2023 compensation: $13,869,897 

Furner was the former CEO of Sam’s Club and previously worked as an executive at Walmart China. He became CEO of Walmart U.S. in 2019. While with Sam’s Club, Furner closed 63 stores and focused on integrating more technology into the stores and increasing the size of the private brands offered in the store.

4. Judith McKenna

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A Walmart in Connecticut.
  • Position: President and CEO, Walmart International (Former)
  • 2023 compensation: $13,526,160 

McKenna is one of two women on the Walmart executive team and has held several leadership positions at Walmart throughout her career. She became CEO of Walmart International in 2018 and is responsible for the operation and strategy of over 5,000 stores around the world. She oversaw the $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart, the biggest online retailer in India, as part of her focus on growing Walmart’s e-commerce business. She announced her retirement from Walmart in August 2023 after 27 years with the company, being replaced by Kathryn McLay, former CEO of Sam’s Club, and will remain with the company until the end of January 2024.

McKenna currently ranks as the 14th most powerful woman on Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women list.

5. Kathryn McLay

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A Sam’s Club location.
  • Position: President and CEO, Sam’s Club (Former)
  • 2023 compensation: $11,934,475 

Kathryn is the incoming President and CEO of Walmart International, replacing Judith McKenna. As CEO of Sam’s Club, she was responsible for more than 100,000 employees and 600 stores. Under her leadership, the company’s revenue grew by 43 percent to over $84 billion in 2023. McLay joined Walmart in 2015 and held a few high leadership roles until she became CEO of Sam’s Club in 2019.

She was replaced by Chris Nicholas when she took over as CEO of Walmart International.

6. Suresh Kumar

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Image of the Walmart app.
  • Position: Global Chief Technology and Development Officer
  • 2023 compensation: $16,107,812 

Kumar is a technology veteran, with executive experience at IBM (NYSE:IBM), Amazon, Microsoft, and most recently, Google, before joining Walmart. He holds a PhD in engineering from Princeton.

Kumar is responsible for everything digital at Walmart. This includes data analysis, online retail, cloud technology, information security, digital infrastructure, in-store digital programs, Walmart+, the Walmart app, and more. Kumar joined the Walmart executive team in 2019.

7. John David Rainey

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Walmart in Michigan at night.
  • Position: Chief Financial Officer
  • 2023 compensation: $39,725,601 

One of the newest additions to the Walmart executive team, Rainey is also the highest paid. He left his position as PayPal’s CFO and joined the Walmart executive team in June of 2022. Rainey is also the former CFO of United Airlines. As the highest-paid executive in 2023, the ratio of Rainey’s pay to the median employee compensation is 1,463:1. One can only speculate how one hour of Rainey’s time is worth 1,400 times more than one of the millions of regular Americans to stock the shelves and run the stores.

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