Marks & Spencer executives to receive rewards for failure

Marks & Spencer (M&S) could face a shareholder revolt over its remuneration policy after the retailer’s annual report revealed executives will receive rewards for failing to hit targets.


The news comes as Lloyds’ shareholders prepare to vote to block the bank’s bonus and reward policy at the annual general meeting (AGM) held today.


M&S’s annual report shows executives will be able to receive a bonus equivalent to 11.25% of their salaries this year even if targets are missed by 10%. If targets are met, they will receive a bonus amounting to 45% of their salaries.


The maximum bonus that could be awarded is 250% of the executive’s salary, which could be given to reward the meeting of “additional stretch targets”.


With significant numbers of shareholders at firms including oil giants BP and Shell, and media group Pearson, having already voted against remuneration policies this year, there are fears M&S could face a similar revolt at its AGM on 8 July.


M&S already faces a resolution calling for chief executive Stuart Rose’s powers to be diluted, and the high street retailer’s remuneration committee chairman, Louise Patten, is up for re-election.


The annual report also revealed that Steve Esom, who was fired as head of the M&S food business, was paid more than £1m for just 112 days’ work, including a pay-off of £568,000.


Lloyds’ investors are expected to register their protest against the bank’s reward policy after the UK Shareholders’ Association wrote to the UK Financial Investments, the government-owned firm that controls a 43% stake in Lloyds, last week to ask them to block the bank’s remuneration policy.

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