Richard Clothier, current chief executive, said: 'He left by mutual agreement following a restructuring of the board and management of the group.'
It is thought that Mr Thomas was hoping to get the chief executive post when the position fell vacant in April. His influence at the group was also eclipsed by Jack Rowell, who was appointed to head Dalgety's consumer foods side - overseeing Golden Wonder and Homepride.
In addition to the compensation of pounds 192,000, Mr Thomas also received a deferred pounds 19,000 a year fillip to his pension. Mr Thomas worked for Dalgety for three years. He was hired from Nestle, the Swiss foods company, in 1990.
Details of the compensation payment were revealed in Dalgety's annual report, published yesterday. Also disclosed is a 12 per cent pay rise for chairman and former chief executive Maurice Warren.
The pay rise came in a year when Dalgety produced a flat financial performance. Taxable profit was static at pounds 122m and earnings per share fell back slightly to 35.7p from 36.3p.
The total bill for director fees, salaries and bonuses also rose sharply. Dalgety paid 18 per cent more at pounds 1.67m.
The shares fell 22p to 457p as the stock went ex-dividend.
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