Chief digital officer Paige Robbins heads up Grainger’s e-commerce operations, which account for more than half of total revenue.

It was a nice payday last year for the top executives at W.W. Grainger Inc., one of the biggest and most ambitious users of B2B e-commerce.

Paige Robbins, chief digital officer, W.W. Grainger

In its recently released annual proxy statement, each of the company’s most senior executives—CEO D.G. Macpherson, chief financial officer Ronald L. Jadin, general counsel John Howard, chief people officer Joseph  High, and chief digital officer Paige Robbins, received bumps in total compensation ranging from 11.2% to 25.8%.

Macpherson had the biggest boost in overall annual compensation with a package that increased about 26% to just under $7 million in 2017 from $5.54 million in 2016.  As part of his package he earned a base salary and stock option awards of $1.02 million and $2.63 million, respectively, up from base pay of $875,000 and stock options of $2.51 million in 2016. Macpherson was named chairman of the Grainger board in October 2017, following his appointment as CEO in October 2016.

Total compensation for Howard increased 20.6% to $2.46 million in 2017 from about $2.04 million in 2016 while all-in pay for High grew 14.9% year over year to $1.75 million from $1.53 million. Howard was paid a base salary of $694,042 by Grainger in 2017 and stock awards of $622,544 while the base pay and stock options compensation for High were $511,250 and $478,897, respectively.


Among all of Grainger’s senior executives, Robbins, who is the company’s top e-commerce officer, had the smallest increase in yearly total compensation. Robbins, who joined Grainger in 2010 as vice president of logistics management and was named chief digital officer in September, according to her LinkedIn profile, had total compensation of about $1.18 million in 2017, up 11.2% from $1.06 million in 2016. Robbins had base pay of $484,185 last year versus $441,769 in 2016. Her 2017 compensation also included about $330,000 in stock and stock option awards, about $268,000 in cash incentive, and about $95,000 in profit sharing, adding up to total compensation of $1.178 million.

Grainger now draws more than half of its revenue from e-commerce. The supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products today reported overall growth of almost 3%  its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2017. And 56% of total revenue—$5.84 billion—came in through its e-commerce channels, including websites, EDI, its KeepStock managed inventory service and vending machines, and e-procurement systems.

For the year, Grainger reported net sales of $10.42 billion, up 2.8% from $10.14 billion a year earlier. Net earnings in 2017 totaled $585.7 million, down 3.3% from $605.9 million in 2016.

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