By and  on April 23, 2008

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. boosted the compensation packages of its top executives last year, but Dillard's Inc. went in the opposite direction, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.

Meanwhile, total compensation for Stephen Sadove, chief executive officer of Saks Inc., fell 58.8 percent to $5.8 million, partly because of accounting adjustments for stock options in 2006.

At Wal-Mart, H. Lee Scott Jr., president and chief executive officer, received a 6.5 percent increase to $31.6 million compared with $29.7 million in 2006. The total included a 7.7 percent gain in Scott's base salary to $1.4 million, and a stock and options award valued at $20.9 million. Scott did not receive a bonus last year.

The package for Thomas M. Schoewe, Wal-Mart executive vice president and chief financial officer, increased 12 percent to $8.5 million from $7.6 million. It included a 5.7 percent jump in base salary to $740,000 and a stock and options award of $5.3 million, but no bonus.

John B. Menzer, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, saw his base salary rise 4 percent to slightly over $1 million. He also received a stock and options award totaling $9.2 million. His total package is $14.9 million, up 16.6 percent from $12.7 million in 2006.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, executive vice president and president and ceo of Wal-Mart Stores division, saw his total pay leap 17.9 percent to $7.3 million from $6.2 million. His base salary rose 7.5 percent to $775,000, while the stock and options awarded to him totaled $4.1 million. Castro-Wright also received a $25,000 bonus last year, half of his 2006 bonus, but those payments were made in connection with his prior expatriate assignment as president and ceo of Wal-Mart de Mexico, according to the proxy filing.

The compensation for the leadership at Dillard's Inc. declined as salaries rose but bonuses were eliminated.

The highest-paid executives each had been given a bonus of at least $1.2 million in 2006, according to a proxy filing. Dillard's has been under pressure from shareholders Barington Capital Group LP and Clinton Group Inc. to boost profitability.

The salary of William Dillard 2nd, ceo, increased 5.2 percent to $810,000, but his total compensation fell 36.2 percent to $2.8 million, including stock awards valued at $196,000 and personal use of the company's aircraft valued at $24,000.

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