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— Irin Carmon
PAYDAY: Think the world's biggest retailer would dish out the biggest pay package to its chief executive officer? Think again.
A look at this year's Forbes 400 rankings, posted on forbes.com, revealed H. Lee Scott, ceo of Wal-Mart Stores, was merely the 10th best paid retail ceo. Forbes bases its rankings on the most recently reported annual salaries, bonuses, exercised stock options and other compensations of corporate America's top dogs. Scott was listed with compensation of $8.7 million for the fiscal year ended January 2007.
The number-one spot in the sector is held by Leslie Wexner, whose take of $56.1 million at Limited Brands also placed him 17th on the magazine's overall list, which was topped by Oracle ceo Lawrence Ellison. Ellison's remuneration totaled $192.9 million. Ralph Lauren ranked 45th overall with $34.6 million, the second-biggest take among purveyors of apparel.
The 2008 Forbes appraisal looks at the take of 29 retail ceo's in the most recent fiscal year, including 15 that sell apparel, in department stores, discounters, specialty stores, online or on TV.
Ongoing challenges at various retailers did not necessarily keep their ceo's from earning big bucks. For example, Terry Lundgren's earnings at Macy's, given at $12.2 million, made him retailing's seventh best paid ceo, while Gap's Glenn Murphy was 16th, with $4 million. They listed at 148th and 347th, respectively, among all their fellow titans.
Other notables from the world of stores, e-commerce and TV shopping included Abercrombie & Fitch's Michael Jeffries, whose compensation tallied $8.9 million for the fiscal year ended February 2007, and Nordstrom's Blake Nordstrom, with $8.2 million. And a pair of ceo's from different orbits — Kohl's Larry Montgomery and Amazon's Jeff Bezos — realized virtually the same amount: about $1.3 million each.
— Valerie Seckler
SHOOTING STARS: Ads featuring M.I.A. — aka Maya Arulpragasam — shot by Juergen Teller's point-and-shoot for the Marc by Marc Jacobs' spring 2008 campaign, might have been unveiled several months ago, but the experience still feels a little surreal for the petite Sri Lankan rapper. "The whole time I was doing that campaign I was like, 'Does Marc Jacobs know who I am?,'" Arulpragasam told WWD at last weekend's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. "He didn't let me into his parties and stuff six months before." As to whether she had any reservations about being snapped in lensman Teller's typically indiscreet — and uncensored — style, she joked: "When I first found out [about Teller], I was like, 'It's just like my mum taking pictures — they're going to come out really hard, you know?" However, you won't find her sporting Jacobs' duds any time soon. "You can't really be dressed in Marc Jacobs' clothes when you're on tour," she explained. "They're too nice." Her solution? "I have my own label now," Arulpragasam said, "which is the only thing I've been wearing recently." The eponymous collection (M.I.A., that is), which is repped by London-based publicist Mandi Lennard, included tour bus-friendly items such as bomber jackets, leggings and T-shirts, all done up in the bold hues and graphic prints for which the singer is known. And, aside from reflective glory, buying an Arulpragasam-designed piece affords its owner a little extra sartorial security. Explained the fashionista: "With my stuff, because everything's really bright, if you lose it or someone steals it, you can see it from miles away and you can be like, 'Oy! Give me my shirt back!'" Talk about bang for your buck.