SUPERMARKET chain Tesco looks set to be next in the firing line over pay and performance when it faces investors today.
The retail giant holds its annual shareholder meeting in Cardiff amid pressure over pay plans for bosses and calls for a review of its loss-making US business.
Shareholder body Pirc has recommended Tesco investors vote against the supermarket’s remuneration report, claiming the pay policy has the potential to be “wholly excessive”.
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke waived his £372,000 bonus after the group issued its first profits warning in 20 years in January.
But he still received a £1.6m salary in the last financial year and Pirc said the remuneration report revealed that combined pay – including historic awards that vested and were exercised in the year – exceeded 300% of executives’ salaries.
A swathe of firms have been hit by investor anger over executive pay in the current so-called “shareholder spring”.
Firms including marketing giant WPP have suffered significant shareholder rebellions over pay in recent months, while investor activism has claimed high profile scalps including Aviva’s Andrew Moss and AstraZeneca’s David Brennan.
Tesco’s embattled US arm, Fresh & Easy, is also in the spotlight after Change to Win – an investor group that works with US union-sponsored pension funds – demanded an urgent evaluation of the division.
It wants a committee of non-executive directors to review the future of Fresh & Easy after five years of losses.