Marks & Spencer boss bows to pressure and slashes his bonuses after ditching dividends worth £470m
- Steve Rowe had defied calls to give up his full £810,000 salary plus bonuses
- But this week M&S said he would not take bonuses for 2019/20 or 2020/21
- Rowe could still receive a long-term performance-related bonus
The boss of Marks & Spencer has bowed to pressure and slashed his bonuses after ditching dividends worth £470million.
Chief executive Steve Rowe had defied calls to give up his full £810,000 salary plus bonuses, which paid out a total of £1.6million last year.
But this week the company said he would not take annual bonuses for 2019/20 or 2020/21.
Under pressure: Chief executive Steve Rowe had defied calls to give up his full £810,000 salary plus bonuses
The move is a victory for the Time To End Fat Cat Pay campaign run by the Mail, which asks business leaders to share the burden caused by Covid-19 with savers and taxpayers.
Top fund managers and the Investment Association want boardrooms that ask shareholders to accept sacrifices to ‘share the pain’ themselves.
Rowe could still receive a long-term performance-related bonus when the annual report comes out next month.
On Thursday, the firm dealt its 300,000 private investors a major blow, announcing it did not intend to pay £340million in dividends this year – just weeks after last year’s £130million year-end dividend was cancelled.
The taxpayer is also covering £222million in costs to furlough 27,000 staff, paying 80 per cent of their wages, as well as a 12-month business rates holiday.
Six FTSE100 bosses have delayed or cancelled dividends, but have yet to take a pay cut, a Mail audit reveals.
BAE boss Charles Woodburn delayed a £442million dividend, but will keep a pay packet that was £3.9million in pay and bonuses last year.
Mondi has not announced a pay cut for interim chief executive Andrew King since deferring the £237million dividend in April.
Smiths Group boss Andy Reynolds Smith, who earned £4.1million, has also not taken a pay cut, and John Martin, of Ferguson, has kept his full package, which earned him £5.5million.
Glencore’s boss Ivan Glasenberg was paid £1.2m last year, which he has retained in full
Packaging company Smurfit Kappa axed a £167million dividend, according to AJ Bell, but boss Anthony Smurfit will still get almost £1million plus bonuses.
The sixth firm is commodity trader Glencore. Boss Ivan Glasenberg was paid £1.2million last year, which he has retained in full.
As a major shareholder, he would forego up to £190million in dividends if they are axed.
Luke Hildyard, of the High Pay Centre, said: ‘Surely, well-paid executives should share some of the pain with savers and investors.’
Mondi and Smiths declined to comment. Smurfit Kappa and Ferguson did not respond to requests for comment.