Marks & Spencer executive directors, including chairman and chief executive Sir Stuart Rose, all went without bonuses and pay rises last year after pre-tax profits at the retailer fell 40 per cent.

The bonus targets for the current financial year have also been “stretched” for the senior team beyond that of the rest of M&S employees, making it less likely that they will receive a bonus at the end of this year. 

Head of clothing Kate Bostock did receive a £175,000 bonus, but this was part of a three-year “cash bonus retention arrangement”.  

It was also revealed in the company’s annual report that former head of food for M&S Steven Esom was paid more than £1m for just 112 days on the retailer’s board. Including benefits, salary and a pay-off in line with his contract terms, Esom earned just over £1m for his short time at the business. The Times wrote that his earnings were equivalent to £9,267.86 a day and £396.16 an hour.

Rose took home £1.76m last year, compared with £1.37m the year before. However, this was due to payments from share dividends accrued between July 2005 and July 2008.