Why Dick’s Sporting Goods Is Suspending CEO and President Salaries Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Top executives at Dick’s Sporting Goods will not take home pay for a temporary period as the retailer braces itself for the coronavirus’s impact on its business.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, the Coraopolis, Penn.-based company announced that Chairman and CEO Edward Stack and President Lauren Hobart will receive no salary — other than an amount covering their benefits — starting March 29. In addition, EVP and CFO Lee Belitsky’s pay will be slashed by 50%. The executives will still be eligible to participate in short-term incentive programs.

What’s more, Dick’s announced reductions in the base salaries of all members of its senior management team. Other salaried employees will also take cuts by graduated amounts, while the board of directors has agreed to a temporary suspension of its retainer fees.

According to the company, the decision to trim executive pay was made “in response to the current business environment as impacted by COVID-19,” of which there are now 55,300 confirmed cases in the United States. It also expects to “significantly” reduce its planned capital expenditures, temporarily suspend its share repurchases and evaluate its dividend program.

Dick’s is currently among the dozens of retailers that have shuttered its stores in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and ensure the safety of its employees and customers. Its flagship locations as well as Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream outposts remain closed until April 2, but shoppers can still make purchases online and on its mobile apps. They can pick up purchases using the company’s new curbside, contactless pickup service at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy stores.

On March 10, Dick’s posted better-than-anticipated fourth-quarter sales and profits: Adjusted earnings for the quarter hit $1.32 a share, beating analysts’s calls for $1.22 a share. Revenues ticked up 4.7% to roughly $2.61 billion, also ahead of forecasts of $2.56 billion. Meanwhile, comps increased 5.3%, with e-commerce sales advancing  15%.

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