Pay cut: Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe has had his pay cut by 30%
Marks and Spencer boss Steve Rowe has had his pay slashed by 30 per cent, losing all his bonus after a dive in profits.
The chief executive’s pay has been cut from £1.6million to £1.1million, a sum which could now make him the worst-paid boss in the FTSE 100 this year.
Bonuses were axed as M&S tries to turn around its flagging fortunes. But Rowe suffered most – he stands to get £4.2million if he were to hit all his targets.
None of the firm’s 81,000 staff will get a bonus – for the first time since 2014.
M&S narrowly stayed in the FTSE 100 in a reshuffle last week, after shares fell by a quarter in little over a year.
The pay committee said it could damage morale if directors got bonuses and staff did not, so Rowe, 50, and the boardroom have taken a cut.
Profits dived £66.8million in the year to March 31 as M&S spent £321million on closing flagging stores, amid major gloom on the high street.
Many FTSE companies have nonetheless paid huge bonuses to chief executives despite poor performance, sparking fury among shareholders.
Luke Hildyard, of the High Pay Centre campaign group, said: ‘I think that seems quite sensible from M&S. The only comment I would make is that for a company going through difficult times, and where staff are not getting a bonus, you would think it would go without saying that the chief executive would not be getting one.
The mere fact that it is newsworthy shows how dysfunctional high pay has become.’ Total director pay was around 33 per cent lower during the year.
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, 59, the customer and marketing director who is leaving at the end of the month, was paid £777,000 compared to £1.2million the year before, after his £459,000 bonus for 2016/17 was not repeated.
Ousted finance boss may get £1.8m
M&S’s ex-finance chief Helen Weir, 53, could leave the firm with around £1.8million.
The former Lloyds Banking Group finance chief, who left in March, was paid £826,000 for 2016/17, more than 30 per cent less than the year before, after losing her bonus.
That includes around £72,000 she is being paid under a share plan, paying out only 8.2 per cent of the maximum possible.
She is also in line to collect a further bonus from shares awarded in 2016, worth a potential £483,982.
She will get her salary and benefits until November 8, working out at around £441,580.
In all the total could hit £1.75million. Weir joined M&S from John Lewis in 2015.
Ex-finance chief Helen Weir, 53, who left in March, was paid £826,000 compared to £1.2million the year before, after her £496,000 bonus in 2016/17 was not repeated.
Rowe has not had a salary increase since being appointed chief executive. His total pay for 2017/18 of £1.1million includes his salary of £810,000, benefits of £31,000, vested share awards worth £76,000 and pension benefits of £203,000.
The year before his pay of £1.6million included a £599,000 bonus. Chairman Archie Norman, who joined in September 2017, was paid £350,000.
The remuneration committee said of its decision to axe bonuses: ‘This decision was made following careful and thorough consideration of several factors, including the broader expected and actual financial performance of the company, together with the fairness of, and likely impact on colleague morale.’
Despite high hopes, last month Marks and Spencer admitted it was expensive and out of touch.
It announced the latest in a series of turnarounds that have failed to revive the 132-year-old firm. Chairman Norman, 64, declared on May 23: ‘This is a historic day for Marks and Spencer.
‘I am convinced this is a turning point.’
M&S is shutting 100 stores and is trying to revamp its website to speed up online shopping.
It has struggled to sell clothes, with the clothing and home division falling 1.9 per cent last year.
Its outfits have been described as dull and frumpy by customers, and it has been looking to get rid of outdated brands.
Nonetheless, overall sales rose 0.7 per cent to £10.7billion. M&S said it had attracted its first new female customers in seven years, and was focused on wining back young and larger families.