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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Acting under pressure from its creditors' committee, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. yesterday asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to lower the amount of the retention bonus it is seeking for c.e.o. Peter Lynch.
The retailer is requesting that Lynch receive $1.15 million, as opposed to the original $2 million it requested on Jan. 18. The time limit tied to the bonus has also been shortened, so that Lynch is only required to stay with the company through Aug. 31, as opposed to Dec. 31, to receive the money.
"This modification was agreed to by the Winn-Dixie board of directors and Mr. Lynch in a spirit of continued cooperation with the creditors' committee, which wanted this compensation to be more directly linked to the Company's expected emergence from Chapter 11 around June of this year," Winn-Dixie spokesman Michael Freitag said in a statement.
"This does not mean that Mr. Lynch intends to leave Winn-Dixie on Sept. 1," Freitag added. "On the contrary, he has said many times that he expects to remain president and c.e.o. as long as the board feels he is needed, and as long as he feels he can make a significant contribution to the company's long-term success."
Lynch would have to repay the bonus if he is fired before Aug. 31, or leaves without a good reason. The money would be on top of his $900,000 annual salary.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry A. Funk is scheduled to consider Winn-Dixie's latest motion at a hearing on Feb. 9.