Source - Alliance News

Marks & Spencer PLC on Tuesday noted that shareholders had voted 29% against the approval of its remuneration report at its earlier annual general meeting.

In spite of this, the resolution was passed, alongside all others at the meeting.

Although the London-based food and clothing retailer said it had talked with larger shareholders on the reasons for voting against, namely the giving of outgoing Chief Executive Officer Steve Rowe a £1.6 million pay rise, it said that those voting in favour were ‘right in their judgement’.

The pay raise would more than double Rowe's total salary to £2.6 million.

‘The board strongly believes that it has acted in shareholders' interests and consistent with the values and integrity of the business in relation to Steve Rowe's remuneration. Steve served 37 years with the business, the last six years as chief executive officer,’ M&S stated.

‘All eligible colleagues have received a bonus this year, the first since 2017, in recognition of the strong financial performance in the year. It would have been wholly wrong to exclude Steve from this as the performance was delivered under his leadership. To have denied him the bonus because he helped support an orderly and organised succession that was announced just three weeks before the year-end would have shown bad faith to a great servant of the business and would not have been in any way in shareholders' interests,’ the group added.

Marks & Spencer said it will engage further with shareholders on the matter, and will review and present its remuneration policy to shareholders at the next AGM.

Shares in Marks & Spencer closed 1.7% lower at 137.45 pence on Tuesday in London.

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