Kroger hits the markdown bin

Company CEO McMullen suffers $27.6 million paper loss on plunge in Kroger share price

Of all the Kroger Co. shareholders hurting from last week's plunge in the company's stock price, CEO Rodney McMullen had reason to moan more than most.

Kroger shares took back-to-back hits Thursday and Friday. First, its projection of lower profit took the stock price down 19 percent and made the Cincinnati-based company the biggest loser in U.S. stock markets. One day later, Kroger crumbled another 9 percent after Inc. announced it would be buying Whole Foods Market.

The double-dose of bad news put Kroger shares in the markdown bin. The stock, which closed last Wednesday at $30.28, ended the week at $22.29. For a while Friday, it was down to $20.46.

McMullen, Kroger's CEO since 2014, took a massive hit because he owns 3.5 million shares, according to the latest report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The $7.99 drop in share price cost him $27.6 million in overall net worth. That's more than his total compensation of the last two years combined. He received $13.2 million in 2016, $11.8 million in 2015.

The consolation to McMullen, a 37-year Kroger employee, is that the $27.6 million was likely just a paper loss, unless he sold shares during their descent. 

CONTACT JAMES McNAIR: [email protected], 513-914-2736 or @jmacnews on Twitter

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