Sainsbury’s CEO earns 40% bonus increase despite Asda merger failure

Sainsbury's CEO
// Sainsbury CEO Mike Coupe took home nearly £3.88m last year, compared to £3.63m the year before
// His overall pay rose by 7% but his bonus was given a 40% boost
// Boost to his annual bonus came despite presiding over the failed merger with Asda

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe has received a 40 per cent boost to his annual bonus despite presiding over the Big 4 retailer’s failed merger with Asda.

Coupe – who was caught singing We’re in the Money last year while waiting to be interviewed on live TV about the now-failed merger with Asda – saw his total pay package increase to £3.88 million compared to £3.63 million in the year before, according to Sainsbury’s annual report.

Broken down, his overall pay rose almost seven per cent while annual bonus came in at £593,000 – an almost 40 per cent increase compared to £427,000 last year.

However, Coupe’s deferred share award decreased 23 per cent to £582,000.

Finance chief Kevin O’Byrne and Argos boss John Rogers have also been lined up for pay increases this year, receiving £2.2 million and £2.5 million respectively.

It comes after Sainsbury’s was left with a £46 million bill for professional advice relating to its takeover of Asda, which the CMA ended up blocking in April year.

Writing to shareholders in its annual report, Sainsbury’s chairman Martin Scicluna said: “In the current retail market, it is obvious that standing still is not an option.

“We must continue to adapt to market forces and meet the needs of our customers.

“We were, therefore, very disappointed by the Competition and Markets Authority’s decision on our proposed merger with Asda.

“We strongly believe that the deal would have benefited our customers and our business.”

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  1. Why are you always posting these articles about CEO’s bonuses in a negative way? Is it just to try wind people up? They are CEO’s. Of course they are going to get bonuses and more money than the rest of the peasants.

  2. David – let me rewrite this in a positive way for you:

    “Hardworking CEO Mike Coupe, one of our dynamic and brilliant captain’s of industry, has generously decreased his share preferences to an miserly austerity-respectable £582,000 in an admission that his brave attempt to merge Sainbury’s and ASDA failed at the last hurdle through no fault of his own.”

    The reason that CEO pay is reported on – and I see the article reporting the facts, no negative spin – is because this has wider political and economic implications. It’s not the *principle* of CEO’s receiving more money that us peasants, it’s the *scale* – it’s obscene, particularly when CEO pay continues to balloon in a way seemingly divorced from any reality of whether they do a good or bad job. If I screw up with my company, I expect to be penalised. People like Coupe seem immune and insulated from any kind of risk, and this leads to having no skin in the game, and the basis for more bad decision-making.

    The ordinary man or woman sees this and it makes them angry. Rightly or wrongly, it represents an increasing polarisation of society, and a bifurcation between the haves and have-nots. This feeds an anger generated by a perceived injustice of austerity, which can be leveraged by extremists on both the left and right of society. Many people to want to ‘hit back’ at a perceived out-of-touch elite, and quite frankly I don’t blame them. But all it does is open the door for extremism – and we will all suffer.

    So if you think that’s not a newsworthy story in the Gazette, go read the Daily Mail.

  3. This was the man that stated we’ve in the money when he thought that Asda / Sainsbury merger and all the store closures, price rises, and job losses that would have happened had it been approved.
    Food is price sensitive and such a merger was doomed to failure because it meant suppliers being squeezed for more and customers too.

    Sainsbury is a poorly performing supermarket versus the discounter’s, versus Tesco and even Morrisons.

    It isn’t a success to be 3rd largest supermarket in Britain when 30 years ago you were first largest and a quality supermarket where good food costs less at Sainsbury if I remember.

    Sadly that is no longer the case. Shameful to be rewarded for failure as anyone else would be shown the door.


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