How much is a Co-op Group chairman worth?


Former City minister Lord Myners has been brought in by the embattled Co-op Group to help reverse its fortunes, and he told BBC Radio 5 live that he would be paid £1 a year for his work.

His role as senior independent director will mean he oversees a governance review for the group.

Its reputation has been left in shreds after Prime Minister David Cameron ordered an independent investigation into events at its bank last month, following its near-collapse and the arrest of ex-chairman Paul Flowers over allegations of drug use.

It's worth remembering that salary is a relatively small part of compensation for many chief executives - it's symbolic. Steve Jobs was known for making just $1 a year in terms of salary, and Mark Zuckerberg joined the same rank this year.

The "dollar-a-year men" tradition stems from business and government executives who assisted the US government during the world wars and Korean war. They were paid a nominal salary as the law prevents the state from using unpaid volunteers.

Employees have to be compensated by employers, so they can't work for nothing - the $1 salary is growing into a convention for very wealthy execs who make their money through stock.

Myners, who was a financial services minister under the last Labour government, former chairman of Marks & Spencer and Guardian Media Group has joined the board with immediate effect.

He said the advantage of the group's mutual status was that it had no "avaricious shareholders with an open mouth needing to be stuffed full of money".

Adding: "It's got itself into a bit of a bother - it needs to sort itself out. I'm drawn to situations like this and I'm absolutely confident we can sort this out."

Co-op Group chair Ursula Lidbetter said that the appointment of Myners "marks a significant strengthening of our ranks".