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.

READ MORESainsbury’s recalls own-brand dates over hepatitis fears

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.

FinanceSupermarkets

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