Bailey pays the price for clinging on to her bonus

Sly Bailey, one of the most powerful women in the British media, quit her post as chief executive of Trinity Mirror yesterday after a revolt by shareholders who demanded that she cut her lucrative bonus package.

The news prompted a cheer to go up from the newsroom of the Daily Mirror, which the company publishes.

Ms Bailey had earned £14m in salary and bonuses during a decade in charge and the scale of her earnings has contributed to criticisms of the company's recent strategic failures.

Despite the closure of the rival News of the World in July last year, Trinity Mirror's other national titles, the Sunday Mirror and The People, have not exploited the resulting opportunities.

Trinity Mirror has also struggled to position itself as a digital publisher and a major relaunch of its website this year has resulted in a fall in traffic with monthly users down 20 per cent year on year.

Ms Bailey, who will leave the group at the end of the year, quit following a board meeting with shareholders, including Legal & General and Scottish Widows, who felt they were not getting a good enough return. The revolt was led by Aviva, which faced its own shareholder rebellion on pay yesterday.

Ms Bailey was on a salary of £750,000 but shareholders wished her to take a reduced bonus package. News of her resignation followed soon after.

Trinity Mirror said that it had "consistently delivered robust profits" during Ms Bailey's time at the helm.

The company chairman Sir Ian Gibson praised her "immense contribution and leadership". But staff have endured massive cuts to budgets. Bill Hagerty, a former editor of The People, said: "It might already be too late for a successor to redress Sly Bailey's inability – through inadequate editorial investment – to keep Trinity Mirror's national titles journalistically as well as commercially competitive."

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