Dillards Take Pay Cuts in ’08

In addition to pay cuts in '08, Dillard's execs cut down on airplane use.

The Dillard family took siz­able cuts in compensation last year as the department store that bears its name suffered a large loss and declines in revenues.

This story first appeared in the April 22, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

According to the definitive proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, William Dillard 2nd, chief executive officer, saw his pay recede 10.4 percent, to $2.5 million from $2.8 million in the prior year. While his salary remained at $810,000, the amount of his stock awards fell nearly $150,000, to $47,700, and “other compensation,” including the controversial “airplane use” category, declined more than $130,000 to $86,812.

The pay of Alex Dillard, president, dropped 38.4 percent to $1.3 million from $2.2 million, and that of Mike Dillard, executive vice president, was down 26.1 percent to $917,365 from more than $1.2 million. Their salaries remained at $720,000 and $610,000, respectively.

As was the case in 2007, none of the three received a bonus or option awards, and their stock awards all declined to less than $50,000. Stock and option awards are reported based on SEC accounting guidelines. The compensation recorded in these categories was not necessarily realized because of vesting schedules and changes in stock price.

The filing clearly showed the new austerity at Dillard’s since activist investors Barington Capital Group and Clinton Group pushed for greater transparency and thrift a year ago. Executives’ use of planes at company expense was an oft-repeated complaint of the investors. In 2008, William Dillard’s airplane use dropped to $17,915 from $24,038 in 2007 while Alex Dillard’s dropped to $13,818 from $20,065. Mike Dillard’s airplane use was under $2,000, from about $4,400 in 2007.

Hit by asset impairment charges and a 5.2 percent drop in sales, the Little Rock, Ark.-based department store last year incurred a $241.1 million loss on revenues of just under $7 billion.