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The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that Supervalu's three CEOs during 2012 earned a combined $12.68 million, though it can be argued that "Supervalu had little to show" for such "lavish executive pay."

Documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the story says, show that Craig Herkert, who served as CEO until July 2012, "was paid $4.69 million last year, up 23 percent from the previous year. That included $375,000 in base pay and $1.39 million in stock and option awards. The bulk of his compensation — $2.75 million — was in the form of severance pay.

"Wayne Sales, who replaced Herkert, was paid $5.28 million, which included a bonus of $1.63 million, stock awards of $2.74 million, and a base pay of $865,000. Sales also was to receive a 'golden parachute' payment of $12.8 million when he left the Eden Prairie-based company, according to an earlier SEC filing. Sales left in February.

"Sam Duncan, the current Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) CEO, was paid $2.71 million in fiscal 2012. That included a $500,000 bonus and $2.1 million in option awards."
KC's View:
Listen, I think that business leaders deserve to be paid well, that their compensation should be tied to their stature, their achievements, and their performance.

But I also think that it is hard for business leaders to lead when they're preaching efficiency and cost cutting, eliminating jobs, freezing pay and benefits for people on the front lines, but then create a climate in which people in the executive suite seem to be immune from such considerations. (Hell, there probably are some folks at Supervalu - and other companies - who would argue that the real problem is that the SEC requires such information to be made public.)

At major corporations, captains don't seem to go down with the ship. They always seem to have the nicest lifeboats, and they are allowed to get on them first.

It just strikes me as a little hard to lead a troubled company under such circumstances.