The TJX Companies has agreed to pay Alexander Smith, its former senior executive vice president and group president, US$175,000 to settle the dispute about Smith's appointment as president and chief executive officer of Pier 1 Imports.

TJX had claimed that Smith's hiring by Pier 1, which dates back to January, violated terms of the non-compete clause in his TJX contract, prompting Pier 1 to file suit against TJX in state district court in Fort Worth, Texas.

TJX will pay Smith in two instalments and Smith will forego other amounts called for in his contract.

While the non-compete clause provisions of the contract have been waived, other elements of it, such as the one preventing him from soliciting current TJX employees, remain intact.

Smith's right to revoke the agreement expires today (5 April).

Pier 1 has dismissed its suit against TJX.
By Arnold J Karr.