Business Diary: What's £520,000 for a grocer?

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The Independent Online

Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury's, was the star performer on Thursday evening's edition of Question Time on BBC One – even when the inevitable question aboutrunaway executive pay came up.

But was the super-cool Mr King entirely candid? He certainly sounded very frank, telling QT host David Dimbleby perfectly openly that his salary is £900,000. Still, the annual report puts the figure at £920,000 and the Sainsbury's boss also neglected to mention the £520,000 bonus he received last year.

Soames fed up with Ofgem spin

Rupert Soames, the boss of power company Aggreko, is not a fan of Ofgem. He has launched a scathing attack on the energy industry regulator, which the party of his brother, the Conservative MP Nicholas Soames, once pledged to abolish. "[Ofgem] seem to regard their role as to out-which Which? magazine and to use politics and spin as their preferred tactics," Soames complains.

Tui goes for the throat at Cook

Business can be cut-throat, but the worried staff of Thomas Cook could be forgiven for feeling just a little cheesed off about the aggressive press adverts now being run by its biggest rival. "You can smile with Thomson because you're in safe hands," say ads from Tui Travel, the owner of Thomson Travel and First Choice. "Another holiday company may be experiencing turbulence, but we're in really great shape." Talk about playing the man rather than the ball.

BA knows about uncertainty

This is a bit rich. British Airways moaned yesterday that next week's public sector strikes over pensions will cause its passengers great uncertainty as immigration staff walk-out. That's no doubt true, but BA is hardly in a position to whinge about this sort of thing – a string of strikes at BA over the past couple of years have caused its passengers exactly the same sorts of problems.