Telegraph director nets £1m retirement bonanza

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The Telegraph Group paid almost £1m to one of its directors last year.

The Telegraph Group paid almost £1m to one of its directors last year.

It is understood that its well-respected chief executive, Jeremy Deedes, received the payout after he retired in November.

Mr Deedes had been managing director of the Telegraph Group - publisher of The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator magazine - before retiring last year. He was then brought back in March as an interim chief executive during the group's auction.

The company's accounts reveal that its highest-paid director, who is not named, received a salary of £307,000 and a lump-sum payment of £664,000, thought to be part of Mr Deedes' retirement settlement.

A spokesman for the company, which made an operating profit of £35.6m last year, declined to comment.

Mr Deedes, who is expected to step down as chief executive later this year following the £665m sale to the Barclay brothers, has worked for the group for almost 20 years. Len Sanderson, managing director of sales, was the only other director to resign from the group last year.

Mr Deedes has been credited with boosting flagging morale at the Telegraph Group this year during the contentious auction and the investigations into former owner Lord Black.

In just over one week's time, Richard Breeden, a former chairman of US regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission, will hand his report on Lord Black to a Chicago court.

Mr Breeden is investigating claims that the disgraced peer paid himself $200m (£110m) in unauthorised management fees and non-compete payments.

Evidence of further wrong- doing could be used by the SEC, which is also investigating Lord Black, and in a $1.25bn racketeering lawsuit against the peer brought by former Telegraph owner Hollinger International.