Tesco investors block £6.4m pay packet for departing boss

The supermarket said that just over two-thirds of votes were cast against its proposed pay deals for its directors.

Tesco
Tesco

Tesco shareholders have revolted to vote down the supermarket’s pay deal for directors, including its £6.4 million pay packet for exiting chief Dave Lewis.

The supermarket said that just over two-thirds of votes, 67.3%, at its annual general meeting were cast against its proposed pay deals for its directors.

Ahead of the meeting, several major investor groups had called on shareholders to block the remuneration report, highlighting that its exclusion of Ocado as a competitor in its benchmarking criteria helped to boost his bonus deal.

It came after Tesco revealed that sales surged over the past three months, after rapidly expanding its online business amid increased demand for grocery deliveries in the face of coronavirus.

The supermarket group said group sales jumped by 8% to £13.4 billion in the three months to May.

Dave Lewis
Chief executive Dave Lewis is set to leave the supermarket group at the end of September (Joe Giddens/PA)

It said this was particularly driven by a 48.5% jump in UK online sales for the period, with online sales soaring by more than 90% in May.

Tesco said it doubled its online capacity over a five-week period to help support vulnerable customers unable to go to its stores due to the outbreak.

The figures came during the final update by current chief executive Mr Lewis, who will be replaced by Ken Murphy at the end of September.

Mr Lewis has driven a major turnaround at the grocer following an accounting scandal in 2014.

He sold off numerous international arms of the group and co-ordinated the acquisition of wholesaler Booker during his tenure.

The Booker business reported “strong” retail sales growth of 23.5% over the past quarter, but this was offset by a significant decline in its catering arm.

Mr Lewis said: “Through a very challenging period for everyone, Tesco colleagues have gone above and beyond, and I’m extremely proud of what they’ve achieved.

“Their selfless efforts, combined with our embedded strategic advantages in stores and online, have helped to ensure that everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.

“The costs of doing this have been significant and only partly offset by business rates relief and increased volume.

“We see the balance as an investment in supporting our customers at a time when they need it most.”

Last week, Tesco sold its entire Polish supermarket division for £181 million in its latest disposal under Mr Lewis.

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