Morrisons boss hands back £600,000 in bonuses

Chief executive says business could have done better, but still pockets £4.6m

Morrisons boss David Potts has handed back nearly £600,000 in bonuses after saying the business could have done better.

The supermarket’s chief executive took home £4.6m, the same amount as the boss of Tesco, a business which is more than three times the size of Morrisons.

Potts was in line for a £1.635m bonus, equivalent to nearly double his basic salary, after meeting sales, profit and personal targets. Instead he took home an annual bonus of nearly £1.04m on top of his £850,000 basic salary and nearly £2.5m in long-term share bonuses.

That compares to a £1.2m basic salary for Tesco boss, Dave Lewis, who received a £1.6m cash bonus as well as £1.3m from share plans and £300,000 pension payments last year. His pay packet fell from £5.1m a year before.

Together with executive director Trevor Strain, Potts handed back part of his annual bonus related to personal targets including launching new premium products and opening stores. They said they had decided to waive the pay out after “taking into consideration the overall performance of the group”.

The pair also turned down a fifth of the main part of their bonuses linked to financial performance as they admitted profits from wholesale, services and online trade had not improved as much as hoped.

Potts, a former Tesco executive who stepped in to try to rescue the Bradford-based retailer in 2015 after several years of decline, also turned down a 2% pay rise for this year.

As a result, Potts’ pay fell more than £1m on last year when he took home a total of £5.96m.

Strain earned a total of £3.24m, down from £3.53m a year before.

Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk

The pay outs come after the group increased pretax profits before one-offs by 8.6% to £406m in the year to February. But lower profits from property sales and other exceptional items totalling £86m meant overall profits were down nearly 16% to £320m.

The company has improved sales in established supermarkets by introducing more premium and takeaway foods as well as improving service and setting up a new relationship to sell online with Amazon.

Last year Morrisons faced a protest vote from shareholders over executive pay, with 15% of those who voted coming out against the company’s remuneration report. Another group of investors withheld their votes.


Sarah Butler

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Morrisons shareholders reject executive bonuses amid falling profits
Multimillion-pound pay deals awarded after firm adjusted calculations to ignore Covid-19 costs

Jasper Jolly

10, Jun, 2021 @2:44 PM

Article image
Morrisons: a third of shareholders revolt over executive pay
Pension deals worth 24% of salary – while shopfloor staff get only 5% – anger investors

Zoe Wood

11, Jun, 2020 @6:39 PM

Article image
Morrisons' indignation over shareholder rebellion is misplaced | Nils Pratley
If the supermarket wants investors to back its executives’ pay, it shouldn’t annoy them with a top-up that looks greedy

Nils Pratley

16, Jun, 2017 @6:18 AM

Article image
More than half of Morrisons investors rebel over executive pay
Supermarket appears to blame shareholder lobby group after vote on renumeration report that could increase bonus payouts

Sarah Butler and Zoe Wood

16, Jun, 2017 @8:11 AM

Article image
Morrisons raises pay and bonuses for top executives
Following £15m poaching of chief executive by Marks & Spencer, retailer says its directors have not been properly rewarded

Simon Bowers

08, Apr, 2010 @1:40 PM

Article image
Morrisons chief risks ire of shareholders over £1.7m pandemic bonus
Bonus schemes grant huge upsides to executives in good years. The system has to be seen to work in reverse in leaner times

Nils Pratley

09, Jun, 2021 @6:30 PM

Article image
Morrisons’ biggest shareholder ‘inclined’ not to back takeover bid
Move could be at risk as Silchester Asset Management indicates it’s unlikely to support Fortress plan

Sarah Butler

27, Jul, 2021 @6:57 PM

Article image
Morrisons shareholders protest over £1m bonus for sacked former CEO
More than a third of votes are cast against remuneration report, but chairman Andy Higginson says directors’ bonues are deserved

Sarah Butler

04, Jun, 2015 @4:10 PM

Article image
Morrisons to cut 1,500 management roles
Supermarket to have fewer managers and more staff on shop floor and tills to save costs

Sarah Butler

01, Feb, 2018 @1:15 PM

Article image
Nationalisation plans will bring more than howls of outrage | Nils Pratley
Are Corbyn and McDonnell ready for the onslaught if they really fudge the price?

Nils Pratley

15, May, 2019 @9:30 PM