Former WHSmith chief executive Kate Swann left the retailer after holding bonus payments, shares and options worth up to £13m, it has emerged.

Swann earned a cash bonus of £871,000 on top of her £600,000 salary and benefits earned in the 10 months before her exit from the retailer on June 30.

Swann, credited with improving profits at the stationer, also retained 1.13 million share awards in the company, valued at £11.25m at share price, reduced pro-rata as she left the retailer during the financial year, The Guardian reported.

She left WHSmith to join franchise operator SSP which handles brands including WHSmith, Marks & Spencer and Upper Crust.

Swann’s replacement, Steve Clarke, will receive a lower salary than his former boss at £480,000 compared with £525,000, according to the annual report.

That basic salary will not be increased for the year to August 2014. Clarke earned a total of £971,000 in cash last year including benefits and bonus. He will also be granted share options worth up to £2.08m if he meets company targets.

Clarke could earn up to £3m including cash and share bonuses in the current year.