M&S CEO lands 48% pay rise despite cancelled staff bonuses

// M&S CEO Steve Rowe sees annual pay rise 48 per cent from 2016 long-term bonus payout
// All staff bonuses for 2019 cancelled
// COO Humphrey Singer also in line for basic pay rise

Marks & Spencer’s chief executive Steve Rowe will see a 48 per cent rise in his pay packet for the year, despite the retailer revealing its third consecutive decline in full year profits yesterday.

With pre-tax profit down 9.9 per cent for the year as the retailer’s restructuring plans take hold, all staff bonuses were cancelled across the company due to missed targets.

However, due to a long-term bonus payout of £621,000 relating to a target Rowe achieved in 2016, the chief executive will see his total pay for the year rise by 48 per cent to £1.7 million, compared with £1.1 million a year before. 

M&S’s board decided to give Rowe a £24,500 pay rise to his basic salary of £810,000, although it noted he had not received a basic pay rise since 2016.

Rowe also receives a car and a chauffeur as part of the pay package. 

Chief financial officer Humphrey Singer, who joined last year, was also given a pay rise for next year of 2 per cent, taking his basic pay to £612,000.

Singer did not receive a car or chauffeur, according to the annual report.

Often thought of as the bellwether of British retail, M&S is currently in the midst of a major transformation scheme, of which Rowe said there were “green shoots”.

However, he admitted that performance was not consistent and had been hit by its store closure programme, wide-ranging revamp plan, and the late timing of Easter.

M&S yesterday confirmed it was closing another 85 full-line stores and around 25 Simply Food outlets on top of the 35 full-line branches closed in 2018-19 under the restructure.

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  1. How can the board even consider pay rises for any senior managers when stores are being closed. If anything this is negative performance so pay should be reduced.

    If I were in the CEO position having to make store closures, I wouldn’t accept a pay rise.

  2. Not like your usual Steve, you started at the bottom and worked your way up, knew you when you were in the sales floor, lovely guy. You need to work on staff morale, a d this is a smack in the face if you accept this rise

    • Remember we had our pensioned robbed, Sunday premium / bank holidays/unsocial payments completely cut, our stores backstage aren’t even cleaned because the company is so cheap they refuse to pay cleaning staff, YET mr Rowe gets a 48% bonus! This is offensive!,

      We are being begged at head office to “suggest to Steve” which is a complete waste of time, and some who have dared to “suggest” to him have suspiciously parted company with the business. Their line managers are even sent a copy of what they “suggested” which is extremely unethical.

  3. So the staff are being penalised for not reaching their targets, did the CEO reach his? I reckon not. He is supposed to steer the ship but now it has floundered he’s blaming everyone else. This just about sums up the country and how it is administered by this Tory government who only look after the well paid and their close friends

  4. Typical! If these senior managers and CEO’s were paid by results most of them would be taking a hefty pay cut! Always the way, as soon as they make the boardroom they lose touch completely with their workforce and indeed reality!

  5. So this is what the closure of Felixstowe M&S and all the over stores closed. M&S you are going down the pan
    NO morals

  6. If this so-called intelligent CEO cannot see what damage he is doing to the morale of his staff by accepting this pay rise, over an already generous amount of money, then he should make room for someone with more empathy and consideration for the people who work under him.

  7. This CEO is clearly not in touch with reality. Time for a visionary who will really ignite change in M&S and earn a bonus. Someone who will not close stores but use the human resources and space imaginatively. Makes me sick seeing this CEO beaming over his deli counter whilst those around him are suffering. Is he past his sell by date?

  8. No, M&s staff are not allowed a union but it would be nice if all the staff of all the shops went off sick for a couple of days. Who would unload the lorries, put stock in the fridge, then bring it down for the other staff to put it on the shelves. The staff that put money in the tills and balance the books. The cleaners that come in 3 times a day to make the shop look nice.
    Let the staff leave and see how Mr Rowe and his team cope with that for a couple of days.
    That would be interesting.
    You do need the customer assistants, and we deserve our bonus.

  9. Get real… this is not a pay rise… it’s payment of a deferred bonus from 2016….he’s quite entitled to it… this kind of bonus is quite common in the higher echelons of senior nanagement

  10. I think it’s a disgrace that he gets a pay rise and he’s closing stores staff get no bonus let’s look after the top managment never mind the staff who make it happen

  11. If the purchase team listened to what customers wanted instead of TELLING us what we need they wouldn’t be in this sorry situation. Very disappointed with the way this company is being run.

  12. CEOs only get these huge paypackets because the staff work so bloody hard bringing in the money for them. All the big companies are the same especially the super markets. CEOS need to get off their backsides & work in the stores for a few weeks along side the real grafters.

      • Line Managers are Bullies! My manager has worked for M & S for 34 years.
        Completely institutionalised. Completely Brainwashed. Cos Steve Rowe Gave her a kiss on the cheek, she was like a cat who got the cream.

  13. He could do the right thing and share it with the staff. It’s a bonus from two years ago to make it more sensational. The simple fact is it’s time this excess pay was stopped 110% tax for more than 500k/year. As nobody can work for someone else and be worth more. If you own a company and take the risk that’s different. But sorry risk free working for other people there has to be a limit

  14. To me this seems very wrong. M and S are closely predominantly small general stores in locations that fully meet the demographics of M and S in favour of newer out of town stores and as a such they are losing their core customers many of whom won’t travel to locations that are 20 miles or more away.

    To me he is being rewarded for failure. Locations that are successful or were Deal Kent – which was closed to carry the Dover Food Hall in a town they were going to exit and WWC which is also underperforming.

  15. Greed not Results Driven Team Players is the motivation of this Centuries Retail Leadership.
    Concentrating on their packages and not investing in their people and the businesses future.

  16. He’s a asshole. Staff got 30p pay rise. And no staff have had a bonus for THREE YEARS IN A ROW. Even though they have met their targets. Your a prick. Staff weren’t informed about your 48% pay rise via managers, they found out for themselves from on line. Considering Steve Rowes mother used to visit a south east London branch of the store and be proud to say her son started out working in a store. He’s a asshole. You know the hard work staff put in, in a shop where the air con doesn’t work, where you get hard to deal with customers/ lovely rememberable customers who make your day and working long hours in your feet all day.

    There are certain manager(S) in a south east London store that’s located in a shopping centre that Harry Hill the comedian refers to who should not have a place in the store due to victimising many of HER/his staff members. Driving them out,bullying, belittling and pushing people to taking their lives. They should not be allowed to be a manager in that store. They don’t even carry out managerial role in store as they do not even manage their staff from the shop floor.

      • I remember when Sir Stuart Rose was the executive chairman of M&S, until 2010.
        The quality of the clothing was much higher.
        After that it has been a slow roll downhill.

  17. Total disgrace! A salary of £1.7 Million plus a car and chauffeur. People losing their jobs so that the top can get richer. If I miss my targets at work I’m on a disciplinary!

    Businesses are taking advantage of the brexit to slash staff reduce property rent via CVA all to avoid paying the living wage increase so that the top can get bigger pay & bonuses. No business will strive without it’s man power and that’s why it’s all becoming automated cashless till’s etc.

  18. The customers are ultimately in charge, if we don’t like it, we can shop elsewhere. If enough customers go elsewhere, it will send out a strong message that this practise is unacceptable.

  19. Another incompetent, greedy individual lining his pockets. Rewarding poor performance no wonder M&S is in decline.

  20. Paul,
    Customers can always go elsewhere, of course. But if they do that, and a store closes, the only people they will hurt will be the store team, who will lose their jobs, their livelihoods, and their income. Huge retail companies will not care about the loss of one store.

  21. Really interested in the bonuses this year. The gender pay gap report states as follows: “% of Males and Females receiving a bonus M – 73.5% F – 81.7%”, as far as I know, bonuses were canceled this year?

  22. I’ve never thought Steve Rowe is the man for that job. M&S will never get back to what they were known for. The biggest failing at the moment is staff morale and training.
    Steve Rowe talks about M&S magic or rather that’s how the consumer perceives the store and the brand. What piff. Clearly he missed the boat 15 years ago when M&S lost their way.
    The food is good but frankly all the other retailers including Lidl and Aldi are now as good. We used Aldi for our Christmas food when we usually go to M&S. The food was amazing, plenty of variety and cheap.
    The simply food outlets were never the right idea for M&S it stopped the foodies going into the branches and having a wander around their shops.
    Sadly u til you reinvigorate your USP then M&S will go down the same route as Debenhams and House of Fraser. Just a great shop, but the wrong guy is leading it.
    And the bonus Steve Rowe should be paid to you when you complete these perpetual 5 year plans (only to restart when the next guy takes over!)

  23. I invested a great deal on the appointment of Archie Norman as chairman.Has he lost the plot the Archie of old would have kicked Rowe out first step! Rowe is a big problem and not the solution.I have seen my investment decline by 40 per cent in just under 2 years.Archie you are a big disappointment I guess there is no fire in your belly any more; you have made your pile.Bring on Allan Leighton the man who turned Asda around not Archie.

  24. They closed multiple stores across the country and laid off staff. I remember the lady at the till in Falmouth being devastated that the store will close in a month’s time. That was a year ago. The store in Holloway London also closed a few months ago.

  25. Take a look at Southend store and see how many staff have left in the last 3 months due to enforced change in working hours with no concern about family matters. For example if you work under 16 hours now have to work every Saturday and Sunday. Most staff are unhappy and feel bullied into leaving.


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