£490,000 to do nothing. Nice work if you can get it

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Trinity Mirror's former chief executive was paid £490,000 last year for doing almost nothing.

Trinity Mirror's former chief executive was paid £490,000 last year for doing almost nothing.

Despite resigning as a director of the newspaper company in February 2003, Philip Graf remained on the payroll, receiving a basic salary, pension contributions, private health insurance and the use of a company car. He retired fully from the company in October.

A company spokesman confirmed that between February and October he did not carry out any work for the company. Mr Graf, 57, did not have an office or phone at the company, or carry out any consultancy work on its behalf, he said.

Trinity Mirror's annual report also shows that Mr Graf's replacement, Sly Bailey, is the highest paid female chief executive in the FTSE 100. Ms Bailey was paid £926,000, including her full bonus allowance of 100 per cent of basic salary. Her one female rival, Dame Marjorie Scardino, the chief executive of Pearson, owner of The Financial Times, received £879,000 last year in basic salary and bonus.

Ms Bailey, who became chief executive last February, also received £2.9m of share options which, if exercised at Friday's closing price, would make her a £900,000 profit. But Ms Scardino's £475,000 pension contributions were over three times more than Ms Bailey's. Ms Bailey received £151,000 during her first year in charge.

Mr Graf retired with a pension pot of £3.9m, entitling him to a yearly pension of £184,000. He also cashed share options netting him a profit of around £130,000 last year.

Mr Graf resigned as Trinity Mirror chief executive in September 2002 on the understanding he would stay until the company found a replacement. The spokesman said he was entitled to draw a salary last year even though Ms Bailey joined in February because he was on one year's notice.

The report also underlined Trinity Mirror's waning support for its traditional ally, the Labour Party. It donated just £10,000 to the Scottish Labour Party in 2003, compared to £30,000 the previous year and £55,250 in 2001.