If multimillion-dollar pay packages could ever look anything like modesty, the Nordstrom brothers’ compensation might qualify.
While Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer, and Peter Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer, clearly run the show at Nordstrom Inc., they did not rate as the retailer’s highest paid executives last year, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That distinction went to chief customer officer Kenneth Worzel, who registered compensation of $6.1 million last year, down from $6.6 million in 2020. (Over $2.4 million of that pay came in the form of stock and option awards, the full value of which will ultimately depend on how the company fares on Wall Street).
Erik Nordstrom saw his compensation rise to $5.8 million from $5.6 million, with $3.7 million coming from options. And Peter Nordstrom’s pay dropped to $5.1 million from $5.7 million, also with $3.7 million in options.
While those are still some pretty big pay days, they fall well short of compensation at some other consumer firms. Notably, Andrew Jassy, CEO of the company’s Seattle neighbor Amazon, saw his compensation last year weigh in at more than $212 million, with most of that coming in the form of stock.
Erik and Peter are great-grandsons of the company’s cofounder, John W. Nordstrom, and will meet with shareholders at the company’s annual meeting on May 18.
A letter to shareholders from the brothers and the company’s outgoing chairman, Brad Smith, suggests management feels they have a good story to tell to shareholders despite all the turmoil in the industry and world.
“The pandemic has revealed the strength of our company culture and the value of knowing what we stand for,” the trio said. “For years, we’ve structured our organization as an inverted pyramid, with the customer at the top, followed by the teams serving those customers, with management supporting their efforts from below. This approach ensures the customer remains at the center of everything we do and encourages our people to support one another in service of a shared goal.”
And they said this approach helped the company as it adapted to supply chain pressures last year and changes in consumer behavior.
“We’re acting with urgency to win in our most important markets, broaden the reach of Nordstrom Rack, and increase our digital velocity, building on our core differentiators — a commitment to customer service, interconnected digital and physical assets and strong partnerships with the world’s best brands — to win customers and serve them on their terms,” they said.
“We recognize that we can and must continue to improve our performance, and we’re motivated to rise to the occasion…. Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, we have much to be excited about. We’re confident that we have the right strategy in place as we enter the next phase of our evolution and have the tools, determination and talent we need to thrive for the next century.”
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