Thomas Kingsbury will soon take the helm as interim head of Kohl's Corp. - to the tune of $1.48 million in annual base pay, or $123,000 per month, according to a recent SEC filing.
[caption id="attachment_559581" align="alignleft" width="165"] Thomas Kingsbury. Credit: Kohl's Corp.[/caption]
Kingsbury, age 70, was tapped by the Menomonee Falls-based retailer's board of directors earlier this month to succeed outgoing chief executive officer Michelle Gass, who is stepping down to assume the role of president at San Fransisco-based Levi Strauss & Co.Beginning Dec. 2, Kingsbury will serve as interim CEO of Kohl's until a permanent successor is named.
As part of his compensation package, Kingsbury is eligible for a target bonus of 175% of his base salary, which is subject to total company performance and prorated based on the number of days he serves as interim CEO during fiscal 2023. He will also receive a stock grant initially worth $3.78 million if he is still interim CEO or remains on the company's board after a year.
A Kohl’s board member since 2021, Kingsbury has an accomplished career in senior positions at leading retailers, including president and CEO of Burlington Stores, senior executive vice president of Kohl’s, and several management positions at The May Department Stores Company, including president and CEO of its Filene’s division. He is currently a director of Tractor Supply Company, BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. and Big Lots Inc.
Kingsbury's annual pay slightly exceeds that of Gass', which was $1.47 million in 2021. By the end of fiscal 2021, Gass had earned a total compensation of $12.9 million, according to SEC filings.
At Levi Strauss, Gass will make a base salary of $1.48 million per year, with an initial target bonus of 175% of her base salary. Her compensation includes a one-time signing bonus of $8.1 million and two stock grants, each worth $8.1 million. In addition, Gass would be eligible for around $3 million, or two years of her base salary, in severance if she is not promoted to CEO within 18 months and decides to leave the company as a result, according to SEC filings. The company anticipates that Gass will be promoted to CEO within 18 months of her January start date.
[caption id="attachment_524535" align="alignright" width="121"] Michelle Gass[/caption]
Gass joined Kohl’s Corp. in 2013 as chief customer officer and took over as CEO in May 2018 upon the retirement of Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s former chairman, chief executive officer and president. During her tenure at Kohl’s, Gass led the company through numerous challenges, including retail industry headwinds, the COVID-19 pandemic and two attempted board takeovers by activist investor groups. She’s credited with launching partnerships, such as Amazon Returns and Sephora at Kohl’s, in an effort to bring the retailer’s 65 million-customer base through its doors.