Key takeaways for retailers:

 

Majestic Wine boss Rowan Gormley, WHSmith chief Stephen Clarke and Tesco’s group chief executive Dave Lewis were the highest-rewarded retail executives last year, exclusive Retail Week analysis has revealed.

Particular circumstances influenced their rankings, with Gormley’s package including payments arising from the sale of Naked Wines, while Clarke met long-term incentive plan targets.

Burberry’s Julie Brown, who came fourth in the list, received compensation for incentives forfeited when she left her previous employer, medical technology specialist Smith & Nephew.

Here’s the list in full:

RankNameRoleRetailerFinancial yearBase salaryBenefitsTotal package
1 Rowan Gormley CEO Majestic 2016/17 222,000 5,164,000* 5,386,000
2 Stephen Clarke Group CEO WHSmith 2015/16 550,000 4,694,000 5,244,000
3 Dave Lewis Group chief executive Tesco 2016/17 1,250,000 2,897,000 4,147,000
4 Julie Brown Chief operating and financial officer Burberry 2016/17** 143,000 3,809,000 3,952,000
5 Euan Sutherland CEO SuperGroup 2016/17 700,000 2,911,750 3,611,750
6 Christopher Bailey President and chief creative officer (CEO at the time) Burberry 2016/17 1,100,000 2,431,000 3,531,000
7 Robert Moorhead CFO and COO WHSmith 2015/16 370,000 2,655,000 3,025,000
8 David Potts CEO Morrisons 2016/17 850,000 1,944,000 2,794,000
9 Peter Cowgill Executive chairman JD Sports 2016/17 756,000 2,006,000 2,762,000
10 Trevor Stain CFO Morrisons 2016/17 575,000 2,106,000 2,681,000
11 Mike Coupe CEO Sainsbury’s 2016/17 929,000 1,420,000 2,349,000
12 Alan Stewart CFO Tesco 2016/17 750,000 1,486,000 2,236,000
13 Neil Catto CFO boohoo.com 2016/17 180,000 1,785,532 1,965,532
14 Lord Wolfson  CEO Next 2016/17 766,000 1,076,000 1,842,000
15 Sebastian James CEO Dixons Carphone 2016/17 832,000 963,000 1,795,000
16 Véronique Laury CEO Kingfisher 2016/17 745,800 985,900 1,731,700
17 Steve Rowe CEO  Marks & Spencer 2016/17 809,000 833,000 1,642,000
18 John Rogers  CFO, then CEO Sainsbury’s Argos Sainsbury’s 2016/17 685,000 914,000 1,599,000
19 Karen Witts CFO Kingfisher 2016/17 570,800 928,900 1,499,700
20 Simon Arora CEO  B&M 2016/17 589,375 814,356 1,403,731
21 Angela Spindler CEO N Brown 2016/17 544,000 829,000 1,373,000
22 Helen Weir CFO Marks & Spencer 2016/17 590,000 663,000 1,253,000
23 Ray Kelvin Chief executive Ted Baker 2016/17 445,000 772,000 1,217,000
24 Nick Beighton CEO ASOS 2015/16 550,000 649,520 1,199,520
25 Lindsay Page Chief operating officer Ted Baker 2016/17 425,000 773,000 1,198,000
26 Andrew Harrison Deputy CEO Dixons Carphone 2016/17 558,000 622,000 1,180,000
27 Matthew Williams CEO Topps Tiles 2015/16 387,000 793,000 1,180,000
28 Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne Executive director of customer, marketing and M&S.com  Marks & Spencer 2016/17 546,000 618,000 1,164,000
29 Tim Steiner CEO Ocado 2015/16 572,000 569,000 1,141,000
30 Katie Bickerstaffe Chief executive, UK and Ireland Dixons Carphone 2016/17 498,000 590,000 1,088,000
31 Graham Stapleton Chief executive, Connected World Services (at the time) Dixons Carphone 2016/17 467,000 585,000 1,052,000
32 Humphrey Singer Group finance director Dixons Carphone 2016/17 482,000 563,000 1,045,000
33 John Browett CEO Dunelm  2015/16 500,000 482,000 982,000
34 Diana Hunter CEO Conviviality 2016/17 450,000 516,000 966,000
35 Nick Wharton CFO SuperGroup 2016/17 408,000 462,737 870,737
36 Brian Small CFO JD Sports 2016/17 264,000 577,000 841,000
37 Helen Ashton CFO ASOS 2015/16 340,000 492,427 832,427
38 Ian Filby CEO DFS 2015/16 425,000 379,000 804,000
39 David Knight CEO ScS 2015/16 300,000 501,290 801,290
40 Wilf Walsh CEO Carpetright 2016/17 459,000 341,000 800,000
41 Brian Brick CEO Moss Bros 2016/17 321,000 460,000 781,000
42 Paul McDonald CFO  B&M 2016/17 297,250 483,415 780,665
43 Robert Parker  CFO Topps Tiles 2015/16 246,000 492,000 738,000
44 Jane Shields Group sales and marketing director Next 2016/17 412,000 323,000 735,000
45 Michael Law  Group operations director Next 2016/17 412,000 313,000 725,000
46 Colin Porter CEO Joules 2016/17 345,000 377,000 722,000
47 Tom Joule Chief brand officer Joules 2016/17 335,000 384,600 719,600
48 Mark Newton-Jones CEO Mothercare 2016/17 612,000 106,000 718,000
49 Darren Bryant CFO Card Factory 2016/17 352,002 347,030 699,032
50 Jonathan Miller CFO, then CEO McColl’s Retail Group 2015/16 397,000 301,000 698,000
51 Karen Hubbard CEO  Card Factory 2016/17 418,186 275,124 693,310
52 Michael Sharp  CEO (at the time) Debenhams 2015/16 520,188 170,342 690,530
53 Mark Aylwin Managing director, Conviality Direct Conviviality 2016/17** 375,000 302,000 677,000
54 Ian Kellett  CEO Pets at Home 2016/17 474,712 187,375 662,087
55 Mark Richardson Chief operations officer Ocado 2015/16 354,000 301,000 655,000
56 Duncan Tatton-Brown CFO Ocado 2015/16 354,000 298,000 652,000
57 Jill McDonald CEO  Halfords 2016/17 520,200 86,762 606,962
58 David Robinson Managing director, Conviality Retail Conviviality 2016/17** 304,000 302,000 606,000
59 Bill Barnes Finance director (at the time) DFS 2015/16 300,000 303,000 603,000
60 Marc Dench CFO Joules 2016/17 235,000 363,300 598,300
61 Craig Lovelace CFO  N Brown 2016/17 342,000 239,000 581,000
62 John Roberts CEO, then executive director Ao.com 2016/17 445,000 127,804 572,804
63 Amanda James Group finance director Next 2016/17 360,000 211,000 571,000
64 Andrew Humphreys CFO Conviviality 2016/17 300,000 254,000 554,000
65 Neill Abrams  Group general counsel Ocado 2015/16 297,000 234,000 531,000
66 Martyn Gibbs CEO Game Digital 2015/16 446,000 80,000 526,000
67 Suzanne Harlow Group trading director Debenhams 2015/16 408,537 110,732 519,269
68 Steve Caunce COO, then CEO Ao.com 2016/17 395,000 116,904 511,904
69 Neil Page CFO Carpetright 2016/17 300,000 204,000 504,000
70 Matt Smith CFO Debenhams 2015/16 408,437 93,563 502,000
71 James Crawford Group CFO Majestic 2016/17 194,000 306,000 500,000
72 Phil Maudsley MD Express Gifts (now CEO) Findel 2016/17 374,000 103,000 477,000
73 Dave Thomas COO McColl’s Retail Group 2015/16 276,000 165,000 441,000
74 Julian Dinkerton Founder, product and brand director SuperGroup 2016/17 408,000 19,497 427,497
75 Jonny Mason CFO Halfords 2016/17 357,000 70,199 427,199
76 Richard Smothers CFO  Mothercare 2016/17 355,000 65,000 420,000
77 Carol Kane Joint CEO Boohoo.com 2016/17 225,000 185,232 410,232
78 Keith Down  CFO Dunelm 2015/16** 199,000 205,000 404,000
79 Mark Higgins CFO Ao.com 2016/17 300,000 95,762 395,762
80 Mahmud Kamani Joint CEO Boohoo.com 2016/17 225,000 170,704 395,704
81 Stephen Marks Chairman and chief executive French Connection 2016/17 321,000 59,000 380,000
82 Tim Kowalski CFO (at the time) Findel 2016/17 296,000 65,000 361,000
83 Paul Eyre CEO United Carpets 2015/16 200,000 157,000 357,000
84 Ng Kwan Cheong CEO Laura Ashley 2015/16 262,000 92,000 354,000
85 Mark Gifford CFO  Game Digital 2015/16** 292,000 52,000 344,000
86 Simon Fuller CFO McColl’s Retail Group 2015/16** 176,000 157,000 333,000
87 David Sugden Executive chairman (at the time) Findel 2016/17† 266,000 66,000 332,000
88 Helen Connolly CEO  Bonmarche 2016/17** 190,000 135,000 325,000
89 Ian Bowness Finance director United Carpets 2015/16 175,000 128,000 303,000
90 Deborah Grayson Commercial director United Carpets 2015/16 157,000 143,000 300,000
91 Angus Thirlwell CEO Hotel Chocolat 2015/16 235,840 52,558 288,398
92 Anthony Smith CEO, then executive chairman Shoe Zone 2015/16 250,000 36,338 286,338
93 Neil Williams Chief operating officer French Connection 2016/17 255,000 29,000 284,000
94 Peter Harris Development director Hotel Chocolat 2015/16 232,634 50,200 282,834
95 Nick Davis CFO, then CEO Shoe Zone 2015/16 162,657 101,304 263,961
96 Stephen Alldridge Finance director Bonmarche 2016/17 204,000 49,000 253,000
97 Matt Pritchard CFO Hotel Chocolat 2015/16 202,404 42,274 244,678
98 Matt Margereson COO Hotel Chocolat 2015/16 202,404 40,250 242,654
99 Charles Smith Chief operating officer Shoe Zone 2015/16 200,000 29,158 229,158
100 Mike Iddon CFO Pets at Home 2016/17** 155,615 50,842 206,457

* Includes payments of £5.1m related to Naked Wines deal
** Joined during financial year 
Left during financial year

Average pay and rewards fell

Directors’ reward packages have frequently prompted controversy and this year’s AGM season brought concerns about Tesco boss Dave Lewis’ benefits, including a relocation package, and at Morrisons there was opposition to a planned long-term incentive plan.

The bigger picture is more nuanced, however, and average reward packages fell last year.

Lewis in fact took home 10.5% less last year than in 2015/16, when he received a bigger short-term bonus. His base salary stayed the same last year.

And across the top 50, both directors’ average base pay and average total package fell in the most recent year.

Average base pay was down from £546,847 to £526,245. The average total package reduced from £1,763,598 to £1,670,034.

Retail Week Prospect head of research Philip Wiggenraad says: “The average base pay was down because of some new executives who came on at a lower rate than their predecessors.

“Those new arrivals will also have to wait for their long-term incentives to mature, which brought down the average total package.”

Boardroom sensitivity to public perception?

As consumers’ wage growth fails to keep price with inflation, it may also be that company boards are increasingly sensitive to public perception of director pay.

A total of 32 directors received a total package in excess of £1m, similar to 30 who did so the previous year.

Most increases in directors’ basic pay were around the 2% mark.

Wiggenraad says: “I think that might reflect companies’ concern about being seen by consumers as being divorced from reality, but you have to realise that base pay only comprises on average 31% of the total reward packages for the 50 highest-paid executives.”

Still few women on the list

Among the top half of the list there are nine women – down from 10 last year.

The highest-ranked woman, and a new entry at number four, is Burberry chief operating and financial officer Julie Brown. Her total rewards were initially said to be worth £4,734,000, in Burberry’s annual report, including compensation for incentives lost when she left her former employer.

However, Brown waived 47,099 shares, worth £781,998.82. She has also waived 75% of her entitlement under Burberry’s three-year performance-related share scheme.

It means that, in total, Brown has voluntarily waived up to £2.4m of the £4.7m remuneration package agreed in July 2016.

Last year’s top-ranked woman, Kingfisher chief executive Véronique Laury, comes in at 16th compared to 14th last year.

Wiggenraad says: “The entire top 100 included just 16 women. That shows how much the higher echelons of retail are still the domain of men.”

Fashion and online ups and downs

The strong performance of SuperGroup and etailer Boohoo is reflected in the rise of executives there.

SuperGroup chief executive Euan Sutherland moves up from 18th to fifth, while Boohoo’s finance supremo comes in at 13th – linked to long-term incentives in each case.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe moved up from 30th last year, reflecting his promotion from his previous post as general merchandise director, to be ranked 17th on the list this time on a total package of £1,642,000. His predecessor, Marc Bolland was 13th last year and on £2,039,000.

Next chief executive Lord Wolfson, number three last year on £4,764,000 is down to 14th this year on £1,842,000, reflecting a much higher long-term incentive payment last year.

Altogether five pureplay executives – including Angela Spindler at N Brown, which has a negligible store presence – are among the highest-paid 50 executives.

Last year, there were six in total but four were from Ocado, where incentive schemes matured and chief executive Tim Steiner was number one. This year he has dropped to 29th as a result.

Methodology

This data has been compiled by using the latest available annual reports of all listed UK retailers as of August 15, 2017. It lists executive directors only.

Benefits comprise a wide range of compensation such as pension payments, bonuses and performance-related pay.

The data is for the shown financial period and gives no indication of remuneration in the current financial year.

The list was compiled by Retail Week Prospect, an intelligence service offering insight and analysis on the UK’s retailers.

Want more stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to Retail Week’s Today in Retail newsletter and get key takeaways, every day at 5pm. Manage your newsletter preferences here: Retail-Week.com/Newsletters