Sainsbury’s CEO pockets £538k bonus despite full year loss

Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts has taken home £538,000 in variable pay despite pledging to waive his bonus last November.

Although he did not receive anything through the supermarket’s main bonus scheme, he received the salary top-up from a second bonus scheme known internally as Future Builder.

“Simon’s decision is a personal one and another example of his integrity as a leader,” the Big 4 grocer’s annual report said.

Roberts was also paid a salary of £875,000, roughly 10 per cent lower than his predecessor Mike Coupe, who stood down in June.

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Chief financial officer Kevin Byrne was given a bonus of £1.5 million through the two schemes, on top of his salary of £657,000.

Around £828,000 will be paid in deferred shares, which would normally have been split 50-50 between cash and shares.

Sainsbury’s profits slumped by more than half a billion over 2020, with the supermarket facing a loss of £261 million before tax.

Although grocery sales leapt by 7.8 per cent, revenues were wiped out by £485 million in Covid-19 costs and spiralling fuel sales.

The news comes after a series of executive pay controversies in British supermarkets.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts, who received an immediate cash bonus of £850,000, is set to face protests at the grocer’s annual meeting later this month.

Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells prompted outrage when he pocketed a £1.4 million bonus while refusing to return £66 million in business rates relief, which the supermarket was given in taxpayer funding to support it through lockdown.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda have returned billions in business rates relief.



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