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On shopping for discounted name brands…

ds_logo_context_0.gifIt’s been nearly three years since we last checked in on Drugstore.com (DSCM), an early web retailer that hasn’t exactly lived up to its potential, at least as far as investors are concerned. But earlier today, the company announced that it had hired a new CFO — There DuPont — who has a storied last name in American business. For the past 13 years, du Pont has worked at WaWa, a chain of convenience stores in the mid-Atlantic, where he was most recently president and CFO. He also sits on the board of duPont (DD), which a quick glance of the site shows, wasted no time in changing duPont’s public profile.

Judging by the employment agreement for duPont, hiring him has its benefits. For one, the company is only offering a $50K signing bonus to cover du Pont’s moving expenses to Washington state. That’s pretty skimpy when compared with the $1 million sign-on bonus that CEO Dawn Lepore when received when she was hired back in September 2004. DuPont’s options are also significantly smaller than what Lepore received three years ago: he’ll receive 750,000 options at an unspecified price, compared with the 4 million options that Lepore received. Of course, Lepore’s options came with various vesting restrictions, such as requiring the stock trade above $10 a share for more than 30 days (which hasn’t exactly happened).

Drugstore.com investors can only hope that having a CFO with a brand name has its advantages. Then again, investors were sold a similar story back when Lepore was hired in 2004.