Dollar General Exec Left With Hefty Payout…

For a store that makes money on the principle of thrift, Dollar General (DG) can be surprisingly generous with its departing executives.

We first saw this in 2005, when Michelle wrote this post about the company’s lucrative send-off for —Chairman Emeritus Cal Turner, Jr. At the time, Dollar General announced Turner’s retirement without mentioning that he left with (among other things) $1 million, five years— worth of Tennessee Titans tickets, and a late-model Audi.

Fast forward to last Friday, when Dollar General’s proxy disclosed an even better severance package for David Bere, the former president and Chief Strategy Officer. (Bere actually stayed through January 29, 2010, the end of Dollar General’s fiscal year.)

In the company’s January 12 press release, which noted that Chairman/CEO Rick Dreiling would assume Bere’s duties, Dreiling said: —Dave helped lead the Company through times of tremendous change and growth. He has been an invaluable friend and partner to me since I joined the Company. We all wish Dave and his family the best in his retirement.

While Dollar General did file an 8-K and Separation Agreement at the time, the total amount Bere would receive wasn—t known since the company had not yet determined how much the 2009 senior executive —Teamshare bonuses would be. But the proxy answers that question, disclosing that Bere’s severance-related compensation (explained in great detail in footnote 8 on p. 40) was $4,013,610. Added to his base salary, that means that Bere’s 2009 total compensation was $ 4,770,193. (And oddly, the Separation Agreement also provides for up to a year of outplacement assistance, which one doesn’t often find in the context of a retirement.)

And yet Bere stands to get even more than the $4 million farewell package. Page 56 of the proxy reveals that in February, 2011, he will get approximately $713,929 from SERP Benefits that vested prior to his departure and from his Deferred Comp Plan Balance. However, the filing notes: —Final payment amounts may vary due to potential gains or losses until payment is made.

Whatever that final amount turns out to be, we’re guessing that Bere’s shopping habits will skew a bit higher than $1 tchotchkes from the Dollar General stores.

Image source: Rob Gale via Flickr