March 14, 2013 8:02 pm

Sir Stuart given ‘golden hello’ at Ocado

Sir Stuart Rose, who irked some shareholders while combining the roles of chairman and chief executive at Marks and Spencer, is to receive shares worth £770,000 as a “golden hello” from Ocado.

The lossmaking online grocer said it would issue Sir Stuart – who was named as non-executive chairman of Ocado in January – with 452,284 ordinary shares, worth £770,000 after Thursday’s 24 per cent rise in Ocado’s share price. However, they represented a £400,000 payment based on the price at the time of the appointment.

Ocado said the award was to match 750,000 Ocado shares Sir Stuart had bought before joining the board this week as a non-executive director and chairman designate. It said Sir Stuart would pay a nominal £9,046 for the shares, which would not vest for three years.

The deal is subject to shareholder approval and will be voted on at Ocado’s annual meeting in May, when Sir Stuart becomes chairman.

Ocado said it had “exceptionally” decided to pay Sir Stuart in cash and shares. But this did not compromise his independence.

At M&S, some shareholders criticised Sir Stuart’s combined role, which was in contravention of corporate governance best practice, and his remuneration.

Ocado also revealed in its annual report that Sir Stuart would be paid a salary of £200,000 as chairman, double his predecessor Lord Grade’s £100,000.

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