Marks & Spencer today revealed outgoing boss Sir Stuart Rose landed a bumper £2.8 million bonus for returning the group to annual profits growth.
M&S paid out the maximum possible under the profit-related element of its annual bonus plan after delivering a 4.6% rise in profits to £632.5 million for the year to March - a marked turnaround on the 40% fall the previous year.
And Sir Stuart stands to receive a potential £2.5 million bonus in cash before he leaves next March, according to the group's annual report.
He is currently working on a three-month handover with new chief executive Marc Bolland, after which time Sir Stuart will step down to become non-executive chairman, taking a pay cut from £1.2 million to £875,000.
M&S pay policies have already come under the spotlight this year after the group recruited Mr Bolland on a pay package worth up to £15 million.
Its annual report shows that Sir Stuart received close to 250% of salary as a bonus handout for the 2009/10 performance, of which £1.13 million was paid in cash and the remainder as deferred shares.
Other executives also received significant cash-and-shares awards, with head of clothing Kate Bostock taking £1.4 million and finance director Ian Dyson - who is quitting to head up Punch - getting £554,000.
However, no payouts were made last year or this year under previous long-term performance plans after M&S failed to meet earnings per share targets.
The group said the remuneration committee set "highly demanding" profit targets for the annual bonus scheme and only pays out the maximum levels if actual results come in above these targets by a "very significant stretch".
Staff in the wider business also received bonuses for their part in the better performance, with an £81 million bonus pot shared out among employees, including 50,000 store staff.
But despite the profits growth last year, results are still a long way from the £1 billion seen in the year to March 2008 after suffering a tough recession.Reuse content