Morrisons in firing line after Covid bonus for CEO David Potts

Morrisons Andy Higginson
Advisory firms recommended Morrisons’ shareholders vote against its pay report at the annual meeting
// Morrisons is the latest grocer to face criticism over bosses’ pandemic payouts
// It removed the £290m cost of dealing with Covid-19 before calculating executive bonuses
// It is facing a big protest vote at its annual meeting this month

Morrisons chairman Andy Higginson has criticised shareholder voting agencies for condemning the decision by the grocer’s board to change the criteria used to calculate executive bonuses.

Advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis recommended Morrisons’ shareholders vote against its pay report at the annual meeting on June 10 after the board adjusted the criteria for bonuses.

The Investment Association has also issued a “red top” — its highest level of concern — to its members.

READ MORE: Morrisons invests £16m into cafe upgrades ahead of reopening

“We strongly disagree with the position they have taken,” Higginson said.

“We considered this properly in the round and the management team earned their bonus this year.

“They did the right thing in working to keep the food supply chain open rather than worrying about their bonus.”

Morrisons recorded £290 million of costs when calculating bonuses for chief executive David Potts, chief operating officer Trevor Strain and chief financial officer Michael Gleeson.

The bonuses collectively equated to 200 per cent of salary, the maximum.

Potts earned £4.2 million last year, after receiving a £1.7 million bonus.

Morrisons said that pandemic-related costs reduced pre-tax profits by 51 per cent to £201 million in 2020 – which increased minimum hourly wages for store staff from £9.20 to £10 this year.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. Morrisons are a terrible company. I would like to see them taken over by ones of the German supermarket chains and boot out the whole of the Morrisons board.

  2. These people at the top are just downright greedy. What about the staff and the customers who actually do provide the income these fat cars keep to themselves. Notice the y gave cancelled the morrisons fivers. Won’t be using them in future. Tesco are far better in range and pricing

  3. I work for the Co-op, and the same thing happened there, the top guy got a £1.5 million bonus, the second in command got a huge bonus too, and all the store managers got a 10% pay rise. What did us front line workers get, those of us that have worked right through this pandemic, NOTHING!
    It’s so unfair that the top brass in these food companies are receiving huge amounts in bonuses after such an awful year for everyone!

  4. Morris sons top brass and store management get paid far to much in comparison to shop floor working
    OK they give you a pay rise to £10 per hour looks good on paper but they want you to do the work of 2 people because of staffing levels
    I had to leave on health grounds because I couldn’t cope with the managements demands

  5. I don’t see how the chairman can argue in favour of these bonuses for top brass. They are absurd. Perhaps Morrison’s staff should leave for Aldi, Lidl, Tesco’s and others where they would be treated more fairly (I imagine).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here