THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
20 years serving the retail industry
Home Page
News Categories
Christmas Ads
Commentary
Department Stores
Electricals & Technology
Entertainment
Fashion
Food & Drink
General Merchandise
Grocery
Health & Beauty
Home & DIY
Interviews
Property
Retail News
Retail Solutions
Shopping Centres, High Streets & Retail Parks
Sports & Leisure
Retail Events
Retail HR 2022
THE Retail Conference 2022
Retail Women In Leadership 2022
Digital Transformation Strategy 2022 Part 2
Upcoming Retail Events
Past Retail Events
Retail Insights
Retail Solutions
Advertise
About
Contact
Subscribe for free
Terms and Policies
Privacy Policy
WH Smith faces investor revolt over executive bonus

WH Smith faces a revolt from investors after it was announced chief executive Carl Cowling was in line for a £550,000 bonus despite the firm not… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

WH Smith faces investor revolt over executive bonus

WH Smith faces a revolt from investors after it was announced chief executive Carl Cowling was in line for a £550,000 bonus despite the firm not paying back government support received during the pandemic.

According to reports, three of the main advisers which offer guidance to City shareholders ahead of annual meetings have signalled their opposition to chief executive Carl Cowling’s payout.

The retailer has reportedly infuriated shareholders with its decision not to repay furlough money taken on through the pandemic but press ahead with the bonus. A substantial number of investors are now expected to vote against the company’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting next Wednesday.

Voting advisor Glass Lewis wrote to clients in a report: “While we acknowledge that the company has taken certain measures to ensure the appropriateness of executive remuneration outcomes in the context of the broader stakeholder experience, we remain concerned by the decision to pay annual bonus awards to executives given the receipt of COVID-19 related government support during the year under review.

“In line with market best practice expectations, we consider it inappropriate for executives to receive bonus awards where funds of this nature have been availed of but not repaid, as was the case here.”

The push back over Cowling’s payout is the latest in a spate of disputes between the WH Smith  and investors. In November 2020 the retailer was forced to backtrack on plans to award Cowling with £4.5m in shares, while last year a third of investors voted against the company’s remuneration report.

A WH Smith spokesman defended its policy on executive pay, telling Sky News: “Despite being among the businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, WH Smith has emerged in a strong position and anticipates a return to profit in 2022.

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News

THE NEXT EVENT

See all upcoming events

LATEST VIDEO

UKG LifeWork ALL: Register your place now to hear more. RETAIL HR 21 Sept LONDON
UKG LifeWork ALL: Register your place now to hear more. RETAIL HR 21 Sept LONDON

Watch video >