Wal-Mart's CEO made about $10 million last year, but he's just another "associate," he says.
Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart's president and CEO, was giving an interview at the Code Conference in Southern California on Wednesday.
During a question-and-answer session with audience members, Bloomberg Businessweek's Brad Stone asked McMillon what he was doing to make life better for Wal-Mart's million-plus retail employees, also known as "associates."
McMillon answered by saying that he's also an "associate."
"I'm one of them," he said, reminding everyone that he used to work in a store and in a warehouse.
McMillon said that Wal-Mart pays its people pretty well.
Wal-Mart has 1.3 million associates; 30,000 of them make the minimum wage.
McMillon also said that, more than wages, Wal-Mart provides "opportunity." Employees can join and move up into higher-paying positions, McMillon said. He said the average wage for managers is $150,000.
He said that one challenge is that Wal-Mart has some employees who "want to join and be a cashier for a long time."
McMillon also said that Wal-Mart is concerned about the economic situation of its customers: "these last few years, the average customer in our stores has felt pressure, living paycheck to paycheck ... What we do is try to help them save money."
My boss, Henry Blodget, thinks Wal-Mart should pay its employees more. Not only would it be better for those employees and the economy as a whole, but they would also spend more at Wal-Mart.
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