Darty chief to face battle over pay deal
Watchdog urges shareholders in embattled electical retailer to block CEO's 'golden hello'
Darty, the struggling electrical retailer, is set to be the latest to face a battering over executive pay at its forthcoming annual meeting thanks to the substantial “golden hello” handed to chief executive Thierry Faleque-Pierrotin.
PIRC, the corporate governance watchdog which advises some of Britain's biggest pension funds, has urged them to oppose the company's remuneration report over the award of 772,681 shares to Mr Faleque-Pierrotin in January, worth nearly £370,000 at yesterday's closing price of 47.75p.
Investors were under the impression that such an award would not be made given current difficulties. Its 2009, the Annual Report indicated that a performance condition had been attached to the share award which has not been met. But, on Friday, Darty said the report contained an error and the only condition Mr Faleque-Pierrotin had to fufill was to remain with the company for three years.
The share value has plunged in recent years. They were still above £3 at the end of 2007 and traded at above £2 in early 2008. Since then, it has been a rout. They were buffeted at the beginning of the year thanks to a poor Christmas and a brief recovery has petered out.
The company recently rebranded itself as Darty – the name of its main French chain – and dropped the title “Kesa Electrical” after the sale last year of its beleaguered British business, Comet, to a private equity firm for a nominal £2.
In a regulatory announcement on Friday, it said Mr Falque-Pierrotin gave up option and stock entitlements linked to his previous employment worth at least €775,000 (£616,000) when he joined the company.
“The remuneration committee, as part of his recruitment package, agreed at that time to compensate Mr Falque-Pierrotin through a one-off conditional share award, with the only condition to vesting being his continued employment with the Company for three years.
“The 2009 Annual Report and Accounts erroneously stated that a TSR performance condition also applied; this was not the case,” Darty said in a statement.
But PIRC remains critical. Its report into Darty says: “We continue to recommend opposition to the remuneration report as PIRC does not support the use of 'golden hellos' as they only serve to undermine the retention aspect of all bonus schemes. This recommendation would normally be made at the time the payment was made, however, as it was originally disclosed as a payment under the Performance Share Plan subject to Total Shareholder Rerturn performance this was not possible. We are therefore expressing our concern on the matter on this year's remuneration report.”
The company's AGM will be held on 13 September.
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete 'cheated on me' with Reeva Steenkamp, former girlfriend Samantha Taylor tells Pretoria court
Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...