Canadian Tire CEO will leave in style|
by Marina Strauss - Wednesday, April 5, 2000
Toronto -- Stephen Bachand will be in good financial shape when he leaves Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. after pocketing more than $27.1-million last year -- including $15.5-million in stock options and a $10.3-million retirement allowance.
But Mr. Bachand, who will step down as president later this year, also saw his 1999 bonus tumble 84 per cent -- to about $165,000 from $1-million the previous year -- because the giant retailer's financial results slipped considerably from 1998.
Canadian Tire upset investors in February by releasing weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter and year-end results reflecting a $58.5-million writedown. It covered Y2K and e-commerce preparation costs as well as Mr. Bachand's retirement package.
"A significant portion of Steve's annual bonus is based on consolidated operating performance, so the year-end results speak for themselves and his bonus is reflective of that," Canadian Tire spokesman Scott Bonikowsky said.
The disclosure of the executive compensation was detailed in the company's information circular for its May 4 annual meeting.
The filing of the proxy came as Mr. Bachand yesterday unveiled Canadian Tire's "next generation" of stores, which the company says are easier to navigate, will have expanded kitchen, hardware, sporting goods and other sections and appeal more to women -- in a bid to woo their business.
The unveiling took place at a massive, secret "laboratory" that Canadian Tire operates from a former distribution centre in north Toronto and calls Retail City. The lab is used for market research, testing merchandising strategies, staff training and producing television commercials.
Mr. Bachand said the 432-store chain will roll out 100 of the "next generation" outlets this year, and all future stores will be renovated to include the new features.
He said the inventory will be broadened to include some higher-priced items in the patio, bicycle, camping, paint and other departments. For example, table-and-chair lawn sets will sell for up to $1,500 compared with a top price of about $800 previously, said executive vice-president Wayne Sales.
He said Canadian Tire wants to draw more women with kitchen and decor items displayed in a more attractive manner. Women make up about 45 per cent of the retailer's customers.
Meanwhile, Canadian Tire is on the hook to buy Mr. Bachand's Toronto home for roughly his purchase price if he so requests it within 180 days of his retirement, the circular says.
It also says Mr. Bachand must pay back a $1-million non-interest-bearing housing loan within 181 days of retiring. Mr. Bachand was a U.S. retail veteran when he was recruited to take the top job at Canadian Tire seven years ago.
He plans to step down when the retailer finds his replacement by the end of the year.