Outlook: Golden goodbye

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The Independent Online
WE HAVE HAD Cadbury, we have had Greenbury and we have had Hampel but the rewards for failure at boardroom level still keep on rolling in.

Earlier this week Tony Hales quit Allied Domecq with a pay-off in the region of pounds 1m after a long period of underperformance capped by the sale of Allied's pub estate to Whitbread for a price that was hardly generous.

Now Keith Edelman is being shown the door at Storehouse after an equally bleak period of underperformance. In the last year the shares have lagged the market by nearly 60 per cent.

The most humiliating epitaph for any chief executive is to see the share price soar, as Storehouse's did yesterday, as he makes his exit. In Mr Edelman's case, the hurt will be soothed by a pounds 600,000 pay-off.

All this makes Nick Hodges at London International look like a saint. His pounds 1.1m pay-off following the takeover of LIG by Seton Scholl is almost as large as Mr Hodges himself. But at least he left his shareholders with a company that outperformed the market by a quarter since 1994.