Marks & Spencer fends off shareholder rebellion

Retail giant Marks & Spencer fended off a shareholder rebellion at its annual meeting today despite being taken to task over executive pay packages.

Around 16% of votes failed to back its boardroom remuneration plans amid concern over a £15 million deal offered to incoming chief executive Marc Bolland.



But M&S and its outgoing boss Sir Stuart Rose led a robust defence of the firm's pay proposals and the firm won support from the majority of voters, with around 84% of total votes made in favour of the plans.



Fellow retailer Sainsbury's was also in the firing line over executive pay as it too held its annual general meeting (AGM).



The supermarket received a barrage of criticism, although its pay report was likewise given the green light.



Company pay proposals are top of the agenda this week, with a raft of firms holding annual general meetings.



Fashion group Burberry and property firm British Land are also set to face down shareholders over the issue of pay for top bosses.



In addressing his last AGM as chairman, Sir Stuart told its army of investors he had been "immensely proud" to have served at the top for six years.



Praised by the board for his "remarkable" leadership, Sir Stuart said he was pleased to be handing over the company to good hands.



However, investors hit out at Mr Bolland's pay and the bonuses received by Sir Stuart and the executive team.



The £15 million package for Mr Bolland had already raised the ire of pension advisory group PIRC, which recommended a vote against its remuneration report today.



And shareholders at the AGM vented their anger.



Investor Fred Fusco of Sudbury Town, Wembley, said ahead of the meeting that he believed Mr Bolland's pay and bonuses were "excessive".



He added: "Executive pay is always a hot topic every year and usually I think that the levels are fair enough, but in Mr Bolland's case, it is excessive and questionable."



Another shareholder told the packed AGM the group should justify its boardroom salary and bonus levels.



But Sir Stuart said a substantial amount of Mr Bolland's pay was dependent on strict shareholder performance targets.



"The bulk of Marc's remuneration is 'at risk' and if the company does well, Marc does well. I'm satisfied the two are aligned," he added.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness