Is that Macy’s CEO in the armored Hummer?

April 2, 2008

The next time you spot an armored Hummer double-parked in Manhattan, don’t automatically assume it belongs to some rapper. It could very well be that of Macy’s (M) Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren. In the proxy that the company filed yesterday, it disclosed its new car and driver benefits for Lundgren:

Pursuant to an independent third-party security study Macy’s obtained in 2007, Macy’s is providing Mr. Lundgren with a specially-equipped car and driver for commuting in New York City, for certain business travel and for personal use. The driver is a trained security professional. This benefit is both for security and to ensure the personal safety of Mr. Lundgren, who maintains a significant public role as the leader of Macy’s.

The new program — and specifically Lundgren’s personal use of the car and driver — bumped the cost up to $87K last year — a nearly nine-fold increase from 2006, when the company only spent $9.9K to provide Lundgren with wheels.

There was another interesting disclosure about Lundgren’s transportation needs that Mark Borges, a comp consultant who writes the Corporate Counsel’s subscriber-only Compensation Disclosure blog caught. Borges pointed to Macy’s justification for Lundgren needing to use the corporate jet because “Furthermore, given the delays today associated with early check-in requirements, security clearances, baggage claim and the need for additional time to avoid missing a flight due to possible delays at any point in the process, commercial travel has become even more inefficient in recent years.” I couldn’t agree more as I footnoted two weeks ago.

There was one other interesting disclosure in Macy’s proxy on “merchandise discounts” that executives and directors received. Director William Stiritz, who retired from Macy’s board in May 2007 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 (which seems kind of silly these days) spent nearly $100K at Macy’s stores before retiring, based on the value of the 40% discount directors and officers receive. That’s compared with zero in 2006. That’s one way to stimulate the economy!

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