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Marks & Spencer shareholders revolt over pay package for outgoing CEO

By Huw Hughes

6 Jul 2022


Image: Marks & Spencer, Steve Rowe

Marks & Spencer has faced a revolt from almost a third of its shareholders over a 2.6 million pound bonus paid out to outgoing CEO Steve Rowe.

Twenty-nine percent of the British retail giant’s shareholders opposed the decision amid the company’s ongoing pandemic recovery and against a backdrop of rising inflation and widespread market uncertainty.

In a statement, Marks & Spencer said it has been “proactively talking to our larger shareholders about this subject and we are aware of the reasons why some shareholders voted against the resolution on the Remuneration Report.

“However, the board is convinced that the majority of shareholders were right in their judgement on this issue.”

It added that the board “believes that it has acted in shareholders' interests and is consistent with the values and integrity of the business in relation to Steve Rowe's remuneration”.

In March, Marks & Spencer announced that Rowe - a 37-year veteran of the company - would be stepping down after six years as chief executive.

During his tenure as chief, he was credited with guiding the business through the pandemic and helping to double the retailer’s online penetration for its clothing and home division.