Kingfisher chief may lose £1.3m pay package

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The Independent Online
The £1.3m pay package of Sir Geoff Mulcahy, Kingfisher chief executive, is to be cut after a surprise profits warning which sent the shares reeling. The company's remuneration committee said last night that his pay was under review. Institutional investors are unhappy about the level of Sir Geoff's pay, which broke through the £1m barrier last year, just as the group's trading performance was hitting turbulence and its share price was beginning to nose-dive. The institutions have not yet applied pressure for changes to Sir Geoff's pay, but expect that his pay will be cut. Poor trading results have sent the shares down about 40 per cent in the last year.

Sir Geoff moved from executive chairman to the post of chief executive last week after sweeping boardroom changes ousted Alan Smith, then chief executive, and James Kerr-Muir, finance director.

One of Kingfisher's main shareholders said yesterday: "I am hopeful that the non-executive directors will reconsider the pay package."

Sir Nigel Mobbs , Sir Geoff's long-standing boardroom colleague who heads the committee, said yesterday: "The matter will be discussed by the remuneration committee. Things like salaries are best discussed in the calm of such meetings, not through fund managers and the media."

Controversy over Sir Geoff's pay package combined yesterday with City expectations that Kingfisher will attempt to sell the Comet chain of electrical stores in the next few months. Comet has been one of the problem areas for Kingfisher, and in a trading statement earlier this month the group warned that the stores would make a loss in the full year.

Analysts are expecting a statement on Comet when Kingfisher announces the results of its strategy review along with its full year results in March.