Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner is to receive an annual bonus of shares worth up to £1.8m under a new scheme revealed late last week.

The online grocer outlined a generous scheme within the documents issued for its annual meeting last Friday which will see Steiner, who earns a base salary of £450,000, receive up to three times his salary in normal years and up to four times in “exceptional circumstances”.

This year is set to be counted as exceptional as Ocado executives have not received a bonus for several years. The share award is dependent on Ocado’s underlying earnings in 2015 and locked up for three years.

News of the bonus follows last month’s “golden hello” of £646,000 in shares for the etailer’s new chairman Stuart Rose, which raised eyebrows.

Ocado reported a 14.4% year-on-year increase in sales to £185.5m in its first quarter to February 24 driven by new customers. It follows a 14% increase in sales to £731.9m for 2012 although it currently remains loss-making.

Long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) have become more popular since the financial crisis caused a backlash against what are seen as excessive pay rises.