Former Waterstone’s managing director Gerry Johnson could take home up to £494,000 in the year to April 24, despite being given the chop in January after a poor Christmas sales performance.

The retailer’s annual report, out yesterday, revealed that Johnson was paid a base salary of £238,000. He also recieved a £255,000 pay off when he was sacked at the beginning of the year, inlcuding nearly £60,000 worth of deferrred shares which vested on his departure.

Last year, Johnson took home £312,000.

HMV group chief executive Simon Fox was this year granted a beefed up remuneration package as an incentive to stay on at the entertainment retailer. He was awarded a one-off shares package, five times the number he held previously, meaning he now holds 2.16 million shares.

In the report, HMV said that “during the year under review, exceptional circumstances arose which prompted the committee to review the incentives for Mr Fox to ensure that he was appropriately incentivised over the next three years”.

In July last year Fox was deemed a front runner in the race to find ITV’s new chief executive.

The shares will vest in three years, “subject to the achievement of a range of performance objectives over a three-year period”. In total Fox took home £874,000 in the year to April 24, including a bonus of £358,000. In 2009 his total pay came in at £579,000.

HMV group finance director Neil Bright was paid £559,000, compared with £349,000 the year before.