Average salaries changed little in the supermarket industry during the last year, according to SN's annual food-retail salary survey based on data provided by Austin-Michael Executive Search, San Antonio, and Spencer Stuart Management Consultants, Chicago.
marketing officers. Average salaries of CMOs at medium companies (annual revenues of $500 million to $3 billion) rose 6.1%, while those at large companies (annual revenues above $3 billion) were up 4.3%.
A little farther down the corporate ladder, warehouse directors also fared well. Their salaries grew an average of 12.9% at small companies (annual revenues below $500 million), 5% at medium companies, and 13% at large companies.
Executives searching for the reason why their salaries failed to increase can look beyond the weak economy and blame Fleming, Dallas, according to Norm Wills, Dallas-based senior partner at Austin-Michael.
The unraveling of the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April and proceeded to auction off most of its assets in July, has dumped many experienced people into the industry talent pool, Wills noted.
What's more, he pointed out, in the last few years as Fleming expanded to create its national distribution network, it had been in a high-gear hiring mode, paying top dollar for personnel and forcing up salaries at other companies in the industry.
"Fleming overpaid to get people," Wills said. "Companies that were trying to compete with them had to pay high salaries themselves.
"Tons of people are on the market now. Some of them are pretty good, but many of them were overpaid."
Wills predicted that most displaced Fleming executives will quickly find new positions in the industry -- but at lower salaries.