Monday 25 November 2019 10:41 pm

Ex-CEO of WH Smith handed £3.4m in final pay packet

WH Smith’s former boss Stephen Clarke has collected a £3.42m golden goodbye from the high street giant after overseeing a steep rise in its share price.

Clarke’s total pay climbed from £2.89m to £3.42m last year, rising 18.6 per cent after a rise in salary, bonus and long-term incentives (LTI).

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Last month Clarke stepped down from the retail business, moving aside for industry veteran Carl Cowling.

A strong performance in the firm’s travel division helped offset the high street slowdown for WH Smith, which has seen its share price rise more than 20 per cent in the last 12 months.

Clarke’s salary in 2019 reached £568,000, rising from £550,000 a year earlier, while his annual bonus rose 10.7 per cent to £908,000.

Clarke received £1.79m in LTI, rising from £1.36m in 2018.

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Through incentives and bonuses Clarke has earned more than £20m during his six year tenure as boss of the company, which he joined as a marketing director in 2004.

The overall pay-out means Clarke will receive 207 times the average wage, based on a median figure, of a WH Smith employee.