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Could have been a contender…

When I initially looked at Walgreen’s (WAG) proxy earlier this week, I had planned to give it a gold star for noting — in a footnote to its summary compensation table — that in January 2005, it had stopped offering country club memberships as a perk to top executives. The footnote was part of a disclosure on the $44K in “other annual compensation” that Trent Taylor received in 2003. At the time, Taylor was not one of the top five executives, so the company only chose to disclose it in the current proxy.

But looking back over those past few proxies made me stumble across something else: a shocking number of relatives of top executives are on Walgreen’s payroll — something that the company disclosed for the first time in this proxy. Unfortunately, Walgreen’s doesn’t provide many details, including names, the job title or the salary, so it’s hard to know if these relatives are pharmacy clerks or some part of the company’s upper management. The only hint they do give is that each of these employees made over $60K last year. Still, as you can see from the disclosure, the list is impressive:

During fiscal year 2005, Company employees related to the executive officers or directors of the Company named below were: A son and a sonâ_”_—inâ_”_—law of George C. Eilers; a sonâ_”_—inâ_”_—law of Jerome B. Karlin; two sons of Barry L. Markl; a stepbrother of William A. Shiel; a brotherâ_”_—inâ_”_—law of Mark A. Wagner; a son of Charles R. Walgreen III; and a brother of Gregory D. Wasson.

Walgreen’s also doesn’t say how long these 9 relatives have been on the payroll, but I’m guessing they weren’t all hired this past year. Why they chose to disclose it like this — telling you something without really telling you anything — is also beyond me. But like Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront”, they could have been a contender.f

Also: don’t forget that the SEC is open today and I’m guessing something pretty juicy will be filed later today. If you find something good, be sure to send me an email