TravelGuides – Executive pay: big names that fell foul of shareholders | Executive pay and bonuses

TravelGuides – Executive pay: big names that fell foul of shareholders | Executive pay and bonuses

The private and monetary sacrifices of many through the pandemic have forged a harsh mild on govt pay excesses. Shareholders have delivered stinging rebukes to some of the UK’s greatest-recognized corporations for failing to match the nationwide temper.

The High Pay Centre, a marketing campaign group, thinks big pay packets within the time of coronavirus might lead to political strain to provide employee representatives a say on bosses’ pay.

JD Sports would be the newest firm within the investor firing line on Thursday, after awarding bonuses price virtually £6m to govt chairman Peter Cowgill regardless of receiving about £100m in authorities help.

Here are some of the businesses drawing buyers’ ire over bumper govt pay packets this 12 months.


The grocery store group used its “discretion” to award bosses big bonuses regardless of lacking revenue targets. Last month 70% of shareholders voted towards its pay report, the second-greatest rebuke since 2017, when the Investment Association – which represents UK funding managers – first began monitoring pay votes.

David Potts, Morrisons’ chief govt, collected his full £1.7m bonus, bringing his complete pay packet to £4.2m, whereas two different prime executives additionally had elevated bonuses after the remuneration committee determined to disregard prices associated to the pandemic.

The shareholders’ vote was solely advisory, and Morrisons should now merely seek the advice of its buyers. The grocer might keep away from additional scrutiny if it succumbs to a takeover bid from US personal fairness agency Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Morrisons has rejected an preliminary provide of £5.5bn to take it personal.


The property agent eagerly tapped the federal government’s furlough scheme, taking £7m in state support to help staff’ salaries. That helped it to a loss earlier than tax of solely £1.4m in 2020, in contrast with a loss of £8.8m earlier than the pandemic.

Foxtons’ determination to press forward with the award of a near-£1m bonus to its chief govt, Nic Budden, in spite of the loss and the federal government help, didn’t please buyers. Glass Lewis, a shareholder advisory group, stated there was no cause to not lower the bonus funds to zero. More than a 3rd of shareholders (39%) voted towards the corporate’s remuneration report in protest.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca.
Pascal Soriot, chief govt of AstraZeneca. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA


The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has gained vital goodwill globally by agreeing to fabricate its Covid-19 vaccine, developed at Oxford University, at value – in contrast to many of its rivals. Yet it has already misplaced some of that reputational acquire by setting profitable pay incentives for its chief govt, Pascal Soriot.

AstraZeneca considerably boosted Soriot’s potential pay packet. He will likely be eligible for bonuses and share awards price as much as 900% (up from 750%) of a base wage already price £1.3m. The firm gained the pay vote in May, however solely 60% of buyers backed it within the binding ballot.

WH Smith

In January the FTSE 250 retailer delayed a £25,000 pay rise given in July 2020 to its chief govt, Carl Cowling, after buyers expressed their anger – 33% voted towards WH Smith’s remuneration report, and one other 9% abstained.

The firm stated that it thought Cowling deserved the pay rise, however that it will not be carried out till at the very least September this 12 months, amid considerations excessive-up when staff had been furloughed and the worth of its shares had fallen. WH Smith stated final week that it will seek the advice of buyers when setting its pay coverage for subsequent 12 months.


Cinemas all over the world have had a troublesome pandemic, with enforced closures and a protracted drought of big movies. Cineworld, the UK’s largest cinema chain and second largest globally, duly reported losses of $3bn for 2020.

Many zero-hours employees have been left with out pay when cinemas closed within the UK however Cineworld executives may very well be in line for bumper payouts.

Share awards allotted to chief govt Mooky Greidinger and his brother and deputy, Israel, can be price as a lot as £200m if the share worth approaches its pre-pandemic stage. Just over 30% of buyers voted towards the corporate’s pay coverage final month in response.


The exhibitions and enterprise publishing group suffered a serious pay revolt this month when practically two-thirds of voting shareholders rejected its newest govt bonus scheme, which had far simpler efficiency targets than beforehand. Stephen Davidson, chairman of the corporate’s remuneration committee, was practically booted off the board in a protest vote too. Although the vote was advisory, Informa stated it will draw up a brand new pay plan for subsequent 12 months’s assembly.

Rio Tinto

The mining group carried out properly financially throughout 2020, making earnings of practically $10bn. However, it was rocked by a scandal of historic proportions: the understanding destruction of sacred 46,000-12 months-outdated rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.

Former chief govt Jean-Sébastien Jacques introduced his resignation after the outcry refused to die down. However, buyers nonetheless rejected Rio Tinto’s pay report after it emerged that Jacques’s complete pay for the 12 months had grown to £7.2m – regardless of the loss of just a few million in bonuses in recognition of failures. More than 60% objected.

TravelGuides – Executive pay: big names that fell foul of shareholders | Executive pay and bonuses