December 19, 2007 / 11:31 PM / 12 years ago

Circuit City approves retention awards for top execs

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Circuit City Stores Inc (CC.N), which is working to turn around its business, has approved cash awards designed to retain upper-level executives over the next few years, the electronics retailer said in a federal filing on Wednesday.

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing said the company’s board approved the retention awards of $1 million for executive vice presidents and $600,000 for senior vice presidents. The awards are effective as of January 1, 2008, and vest over a three-year period.

In the filing, Circuit City said the awards were intended “to ensure the stability of the company’s leadership team by providing an incentive” for the officers to stay.

Executives who will receive the awards include Bruce H. Besanko, chief financial officer; George D. Clark Jr., executive vice president for multi-channel sales; and general counsel Reginald D. Hedgebeth, according to the filing.

Awards were also approved for workers at the vice president and director levels.

Chairman and Chief Executive Philip Schoonover would not be participating in the retention plan, but would be able to receive long-term incentive awards along with other executives under a 2003 stock incentive plan, the company said.

Circuit City, based in Richmond, Virginia, has cut costs and overhauled its store procedures this year in a bid to improve its business, but faces intense competition from main rival Best Buy Co (BBY.N) and other chains.

In September, Circuit City reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and forecast a loss for the current year. The retailer is expected to report another quarterly loss on Friday.

Circuit City announced in early November that David L. Mathews, executive vice president for merchandising, services and marketing, planned to leave the company to become president of Orchard Brands, a holding company owned by a private equity firm.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs; editing by Gunna Dickson

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