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Loblaw gave 'underpaid' CEO Galen Weston a $1.2 million raise last year

The embattled president and CEO of Loblaw Companies Ltd. got a hefty pay bump last year as many Canadians struggled to deal with soaring grocery prices.

Fourth-generation supermarket heir Galen Weston's pay increased by $1.2 million in 2022, according to a new report from the Globe and Mail. This brings his estimated total compensation to just under $12 million per year.

The pay increase comes after Weston's roles as CEO and Chairman of the Board were combined last year.

George Weston Ltd., which operates Loblaw Companies Ltd., recently enlisted an agency to review Weston's compensation, as it was last reviewed in 2018.

"Recognizing Mr. Weston's unique position as chairman and president of Loblaw and chairman and chief executive officer of Weston, and to further reflect the complexity of managing these multiple roles, Mr. Weston received a base salary increase," George Weston Ltd.'s 2022 Management Proxy Circular says.

Weston receives 30 per cent of his pay from George Weston Ltd. and the other 70 per cent from Loblaw Companies Ltd.

As of May 2022, the value of Weston Jr.'s holding in the companies founded by his grandfather and great-grandfather totalled more than $12 billion.

In an emailed statement to Daily Hive, a Loblaw spokesperson said that "this is not a unique pat on the back, nor a reflection of a moment in time."

"Loblaw's compensation review for senior executives is a standard and routine process undertaken every two years, and overseen by the company's board of directors. The process is designed to make sure Loblaw's compensation is competitive and in line with other retail companies, which it is," the email read.

"Likewise, our bonus program is established to reward company and personal performance, and it is not unique to executives. This year 40,000 Loblaw colleagues received a bonus."

Loblaw added that Weston's salary is based on his oversight of Loblaw Companies Ltd., as well as parent company George Weston Limited, which includes Choice Properties operations

"His Loblaw compensation is … in line with other grocery executives,"  said PR reps of the man who controls Canada's largest grocery and pharmacy retail empire.

"The increase from 2021 to 2022 reflects the fact that in 2021 he transitioned back to Loblaw full-time mid-year," the email statement reads.

Loblaw Comapnies Ltd. will release its next update on earnings on May 3.

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