Facing Shareholder Anger, Target Cuts Executive’s Pay


Target’s former chief executive received $13 million in compensation in his last year at the company’s helm, down from $20 million the year before, according to regulatory documents filed on Monday.

The company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that the significant reduction in Gregg W. Steinhafel’s pay package resulted from shareholders’ complaints that Mr. Steinhafel made too much money relative to the company’s performance.

Last year, Target experienced considerable losses from its expansion into Canada and the hacking of customers’ data, which is still costing the company money. The substandard performance resulted in lower awards for several executives.

Still, Mr. Steinhafel, who had run the company since 2008, leaves with a severance package of about $15.8 million. He also remains eligible for a bonus.

Mr. Steinhafel resigned his role as chief executive in May. Most visibly, he was forced out by the data breach that exposed the personal and payment information of tens of millions of customers, leading to congressional hearings and spawning a flood of lawsuits.

But the company also struggled with deeper problems. In the fourth quarter of last year, which includes the crucial holiday shopping season, the company’s profit sank 46 percent over the previous year. For the fiscal year, Target’s profit was $1.97 billion, a substantial fall from just under $3 billion the year before.

Based on the company’s performance, Mr. Steinhafel and other top executives did not receive option awards or cash bonuses for last year.

Mr. Steinhafel, who had been with the company for 35 years, will stay on in an advisory role until Aug. 23.

While the company searches for Mr. Steinhafel’s replacement — the retailer is known for promoting from within but has said it will also conduct an external search this time — its chief financial officer, John J. Mulligan, has been named the interim chief executive. Monday’s regulatory filings said that Mr. Mulligan’s base salary was increased from $700,000 last year to $1 million this year. His total compensation in 2013 was $4.6 million, a slight increase from the year before.

Mr. Steinhafel’s base salary was $1.5 million in 2012 and in 2013.

Target will report its first-quarter earnings this week, and investors will be watching closely for improvements, especially in Canada, where the retailer lost $941 million last year.

Target’s stock has fallen about 17 percent in the last year.

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