Tesco CEO turns down $590,000 bonus

Tue May 22, 2012 6:40am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote) boss Philip Clarke has opted not to take an annual bonus of about 372,000 pounds ($588,000) following a poor performance by the world's third-biggest retailer in its main British market.

Shares in Tesco, which issued a shock profit warning in January, have lost almost a quarter of their value this year and the company is now investing about 1 billion pounds in a bid to stem a declining market share in Britain.

A statement on Tesco's website on Tuesday, to coincide with the publication of the retailer's annual report, said its top 5,000 managers would receive a reduced annual bonus representing 16.9 percent of their maximum entitlement.

Executive directors will receive 13.5 percent of the maximum.

"I decided at the beginning of the year that I would decline my annual bonus for 2012," Clarke said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"I wasn't satisfied with the performance in the UK and I won't take the bonus. I'm confident that we're tackling the right issues."

Clarke, a former Tesco shelf stacker, would have been entitled to a payout of about 372,000 pounds had he taken the 13.5 percent being paid to other executive directors.

The Tesco chief executive's decision comes amidst a round of high profile shareholder revolts over remuneration at companies like Barclays (BARC.L: Quote), Inmarsat (ISA.L: Quote) and Prudential (PRU.L: Quote) in a phenomenon dubbed the "shareholder spring".

Increasing investor resistance to executive pay rises at underperforming firms has also led Aviva (AV.L: Quote) boss Andrew Moss, and Sly Bailey, head of newspaper group Trinity Mirror (TNI.L: Quote), to quit this month.   Continued...

Tesco CEO Philip Clarke speaks during an interview with Thomson Reuters in Cheshunt, southern England May 9, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett