M&S boss Steve Rowe’s salary slashed but still pockets £1.1m

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M&S CEO Steve Rowe

Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe had his pay slashed by almost a third last year after profits at the retail bellwether plunged.

However, he still took home £1.1 million in 2017, although this was a 31 per cent cut to his initial total pay of £1.64 million.

His reduced pay award consists of an £810,000 base salary, £234,000 in pension and other benefits, and a £76,000 share award.

M&S said his pay cut was due to missing out on a profit-linked bonus, and it a contrast to the near £600,000 bonus he pocketed year.

The M&S board also decided to block annual bonuses and salary increases for all of its top executives – including Rowe – after the retailer’s plunge in annual profits meant in-store staff would not qualify for payouts.

“Profit before tax was below the threshold to trigger the corporate element of the scheme, as well as bonus payments elsewhere in M&S,” the retailer stated.

“As such, in the interests of fairness, the committee decided to exercise its discretion that no payment would be made to any director, irrespective of any achievements against each director’s individual objectives.

The pay details for M&S’s top executives come just weeks after the department store and food retail chain reported a gloomy set of annual results.

For the year to March 31, pre-tax profit at M&S dropped from £176.4 million to £66.8 million after it incurred a bill of £514 million in exceptional costs.

The costs were linked to M&S’s turnaround scheme, and included £321.1 million from its UK store closure programme.

Last month, M&S confirmed plans to further accelerate its store closures by setting a new target of 100 branches – which came about after adding 14 clothing & home stores to the list – to close down by 2022.

The retailer is also further scaling back its food retail expansion.

The move is part of a five-year turnaround plan spearheaded by Rowe and chairman Archie Norman.

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