Ex-Lasmo chief took 40% pay rise last year

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The Independent Online
CHRIS GREENTREE, who was forced to step down as chief executive of Lasmo in January, received a 40 per cent pay increase last year, boosting his total pay packet from pounds 334,000 to almost pounds 481,000, writes Neil Thapar.

The pay rise, disclosed in the oil group's 1992 annual report, shocked City analysts. 'This is a truly incredible pay increase at a time when the company's performance has been dismal,' one said.

Mr Greentree's pay rise, which was approved by Lasmo's non-executive directors headed by Lord Rees, came despite a pounds 385m net loss at the group last year, up from pounds 4m in 1991.

Lasmo's share price underperformed the market by about 40 per cent during the same period and it was forced to cut the total dividend from 8.5p to 3.3p.

Despite the massive deficit, Mr Greentree received pounds 50,000 in performance-related payments, including bonuses. His basic salary went up from pounds 321,000 to pounds 412,000.

A spokeswoman said that the performance element related to Lasmo's pounds 1bn acquisition of Ultramar, a rival, in 1991 and the subsequent disposal of its refining operations. The total pay of the chairman, Lord Rees, rose from pounds 86,160 to pounds 93,153.

However, the group is clawing back most of the pay rises this year. Joe Darby, who replaced Mr Greentree, will receive about half his predecessor's 1992 pay. The total salary bill for Lasmo's directors will amount to about pounds 1.34m, the same as in 1991.

The company said it was still negotiating Mr Greentree's pay-off. His contract had another two years to run when he was forced to resign.

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