H-E-B, the largest private employer in Texas, said Monday that 55,000 employees would be eligible to receive a portion of stock in the company under a new employee ownership plan.
The plan commemorates the 110th anniversary of the San Antonio-based company, which was founded and is owned by the Butt family. The family will remain the primary owners of the company. H-E-B anticipates that employees, known as partners, will own approximately 15 percent of the company over time.
The plan rewards the hard work, dedication and loyalty of H-E-B partners. In January 2016, eligible partners will receive a grant of stock valued at 3 percent of their salary, plus $100 in stock value for each year of continuous service completed by the end of 2015. Going forward, yearly contributions to the stock plan will be made based on company performance. To be eligible, a partner must be at least 21 years old, have completed at least one year of service and worked at least 1,000 hours in a calendar year.
This grant enhances the long-term financial security of partners and will be offered in addition to all of H-E-B’s existing compensation programs including a 401(k) plan that includes a company match. Eligible partners will be automatically enrolled without having to make a contribution.
“The partner stock plan is a milestone and a recognition of our most important resource—our people,” said H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt. “Our partners are the competitive edge that brings innovation, growth and success to H-E-B. This plan has been my dream for decades. It is a gift that recognizes our partners’ ongoing commitment to H-E-B. Our partners shaped our past, define our present and will lead us into the future.”
Craig Boyan, H-E-B’s president and COO, added, “This historic offering reflects our commitment to our partners and the communities we serve. We are anchored in our mission to hire the best people, offer the best service, provide the best products at budget sensitive prices, and operate our business in a way that reflects our deeply ingrained value system.”
H-E-B was founded in 1905 by Florence Butt in a tiny store in Kerrville, Texas. Her youngest son, Howard Edward Butt (1895-1990), led the company’s entrepreneurial period from 1920-1971, and the company’s name, H-E-B, reflects his initials.
When his youngest son, Charles Butt, was named president in 1971, H-E-B recorded $221 million in annual sales. Today, its annual sales exceed $23 billion.
Other family members are among H-E-B’s management, which is led by its officers. Howard Butt III has led the development of the 52-store Supermercados Internacionales H-E-B division in Mexico, headquartered in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, a city of four million. It operates stores in several Mexican states.
Stephen Butt heads Central Market, headquartered in Dallas, which operates stores in several Texas cities.
In keeping with the “H-E-B spirit of giving” and commitment to community, the company donates more than 5 percent of pretax earnings annually to nonprofit organizations and transformational community initiatives. In addition, each year partners donate more than 100,000 volunteer hours to support a range of local programs.
The H-E-B family of brands include H-E-B, Central Market, H-E-B Plus!, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda, with more than 370 stores in Texas and Mexico and more than 17,700 H-E-B Own Brand products.