SIR Stuart Rose, executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, yesterday waived his entitlement to more than £1m in shares in a bid to appease disgruntled shareholders.
Under the incentive share plan, M&S’s remuneration committee had awarded Rose 1,184,900 shares.
But after a shareholder backlash led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Rose said he would waive his right to 394,967 shares that were due to vest in three years if he met long-term performance targets. At yesterday’s price of 293p a share, they were worth over £1.1m.
Although the ABI said it welcomed the move, it warned there was still an “amber top” on the retailer due to concerns over its unconventional board structure, which sees Rose combine the role of chief executive with the group’s chairmanship.
Rose said: “The board of M&S is acutely aware of the governance issues we face and the importance of good shareholder relations. Our decision today reflects this.”
The retailer, which last month reported a 40 per cent decline in full-year profit and cut its dividend by a third to conserve cash, said this week it will begin the hunt for a new chief executive in September.
Steve Sharp, the group’s marketing director, also said he will not take the 194,484 shares he is owed, currently worth nearly £580,000.
However, finance director Ian Dyson is not handing back his share awards totalling £3m.
Nor is Kate Bostock, who is in charge of the group’s fashion department. She is due to collect share awards worth £1m.