Top 10 Best-Paid Supermarket CEOs

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Top 10 Best-Paid Supermarket CEOs

By Adam Blair - 10/19/2010
Retailing is a tough game no matter what type of company you lead, but supermarkets face challenges that are unique even in the high-pressure world of retailing. Grocers operate on razor-thin profit margins, carry tens of thousands of SKUs in each store and require essentially constant uptime for their POS and other mission-critical store systems. They must deal with staff turnover rates that are only matched by those of quick service restaurants, and their supply chains must handle a wide range of perishable items. And despite all these challenges, supermarkets remain an extremely competitive retail vertical.

On the plus side, supermarkets' key products—food and household goods—means they tend to weather economic recessions better than those retailers offering items that are more "I want" and less "I need."

Supermarket CEOs must deal with these and other challenges while still keeping their eye on the business side—from quarter-to-quarter profitability to their company's long-term growth. This survey of the Top 10 Best-Paid Supermarket CEOs shows which grocers offer the richest financial rewards to those that can successfully keep all these balls in the air.

In researching this article, RIS was limited to those companies that are publicly traded, since salary information is typically not available from privately held companies and cooperatives—both of which are quite common in the supermarket industry. In addition, many well-known supermarket banners are owned by non-U.S. companies, so salary information for these companies is likewise limited. In addition, while Walmart, Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club are, by virtue of their store count and volume, major food retailers, RIS identifies them as department stores/big box retailers, so their CEOs are excluded from this list.

Following is the list of the Top 10 Best-Paid Supermarket CEOs:

1) Craig R. Herkert, CEO and President, Supervalu
Total compensation: $10,790,012
2) Steven A. Burd, Chairman, President and CEO, Safeway
Total compensation: $9,393,390
3) David B. Dillon, Chairman and CEO, Kroger
Total compensation: $6,709,352
4) Winn-Dixie: Peter L. Lynch, Chairman and CEO, Winn-Dixie
Total compensation: $5,909,125
5) Christian Haub, Executive Chairman of the Board/Interim CEO, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P)
Total compensation: $2,266,979
6) Alec C. Covington, President and CEO, Nash Finch
Total compensation: $1,946,600
7) James Sumas, Chairman, CEO and COO, Village Super Market
Total compensation: $1,333,058
8) Alfred A. Plamann, President and CEO, Unified Grocers
Total compensation: $1,329,212
9) Norman S. Rich, CEO, Weis Markets
Total compensation: $1,018,559
10) William E. Crenshaw, CEO, Publix Super Markets
Total compensation: $916,705

For related content see:
Top 10 Best-Paid Department Store CEOs
Highest Paid Retail CEOs