Tesco shareholders reject £6.4m golden handshake for outgoing CEO

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Tesco shareholders reject £6.4m golden handshake for outgoing CEO
// Tesco AGM sees shareholders block pay deal for its senior directors
// The deal included a £6.4m pay packet for outgoing CEO Dave Lewis
// Lewis will be replaced by Ken Murphy at the end of September

Tesco shareholders have revolted to vote down the supermarket’s pay deal for directors, including its £6.4 million pay packet for outgoing chief executive Dave Lewis.

The Big 4 retailer said that just over two-thirds of votes, 67.3 per cent, at its AGM today were cast against its proposed pay deals for its directors.

Ahead of the meeting, several major investor groups had called on shareholders to block the remuneration report, highlighting that its exclusion of Ocado as a competitor in its benchmarking criteria helped to boost his bonus deal.


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It came after Tesco revealed this morning that sales surged over the past three months, partly due to a rapid expansion of its its online business amid increased demand for grocery deliveries in the face of coronavirus.

The grocery giant said group sales jumped by eight per cent to £13.4 billion in the three months to May.

It said this was particularly driven by a 48.5 per cent jump in UK online sales for the period, with online sales soaring by more than 90 per cent in May.

Tesco also said it doubled its online capacity over a five-week period to help support vulnerable customers unable to go to its stores due to the outbreak.

The figures came during the final update by current chief executive Lewis, who will be replaced by Ken Murphy at the end of September.

Lewis has driven a major turnaround at the grocer following an accounting scandal in 2014.

He sold off numerous international arms of the group and co-ordinated the acquisition of wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker during his tenure.

The Booker business reported “strong” retail sales growth of 23.5 per cent over the past quarter, but this was offset by a significant decline in its catering arm.

“Through a very challenging period for everyone, Tesco colleagues have gone above and beyond, and I’m extremely proud of what they’ve achieved,” Lewis said.

“Their selfless efforts, combined with our embedded strategic advantages in stores and online, have helped to ensure that everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.

“The costs of doing this have been significant and only partly offset by business rates relief and increased volume.

“We see the balance as an investment in supporting our customers at a time when they need it most.”

Last week, Tesco sold its entire Polish supermarket division for £181 million in its latest disposal under Lewis.

with PA Wires

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1 COMMENT

  1. It seems to me that a CEO who turns around a mega £50 billion plus business deserves a relatively minute £6.4 million golden handshake. The institutional shareholders et al wanted performance. They got it. Now they are being mean. Dave Lewis delivered over 6 years, after the preceding fiasco.

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