The boss of troubled brewing company BrewDog has set out plans to give 20% of his stake in the company to staff.
James Watt has set out an incentive plan where 750 salaried members of staff will gain shares in the company worth £120,000, while 1,500 hourly paid staff will receive half of its bar profits.
Between them, staff will own 3.7 million shares, equivalent to around 5% of the business. The value of these shares will be circa £30,000 a year over four years for those who are eligible, based on the company’s recent valuation of £1.8 billion.
Profit-related pay-outs will be made twice a year, and share awards will be paid out each year over four years. Staff can only cash in on shares if there is a sale or change in ownership, or if the company floats on the stock market.
The reward plans form part of a new “blueprint” announced by the company, setting out its roadmap for the next 15 years around people strategy, sustainability and transparency. An “alumni club” allows former employees to access discounts, free beer, and social events.
The Aberdeenshire brewer has frequently appeared in headlines in recent months over allegations of a “toxic” work culture where employees felt fearful of speaking out.
A group of 60 employees published an open letter accusing the company of running on a “cult of personality”.
Late last year, BrewDog committed to expanding investments in HR resources after a review of its culture.
Watt insisted the equity offer and profit sharing was not in response to prior allegations.
He said BrewDog wanted to be a “new type of business” and that shared ownership would mean better recruitment, retention and engagement.
He said: “These radical new initiatives are about ensuring we win together and fully recognise the hard work that our fantastic team puts into our business.
“Our team and our equity punk community are now collectively the largest shareholder in BrewDog, making us truly a people-powered business.
“The road ahead is going to be exciting, but it won’t be easy. Redefining an industry never is. The share giveaway and profit share scheme will ensure that we are all in this together as we look to write the next chapter in the BrewDog story.”
The company’s chairman Allan Leighton, former chief executive of Asda, said there was “no better way to ensure that a company thrives than to give people a stake in its future success”.
“These are the perfect initiatives to mark the next stage in the evolution of the business and take our people with us on that journey,” he added. “This is a company that has shown over 15 years of revolutionising the brewing industry that it is ready to do things differently and I am very proud to chair it.”