The chief executive of The Hut Group (THG) is to receive one of the biggest payouts in UK corporate history after the recently listed online retailer’s share price rose.
Matthew Moulding, who founded the company in 2004, will receive at least £830m in shares after the share price of the company rose to hit targets set at its flotation on the London Stock Exchange in September. His total share awards could rise further if the company’s market value reaches £7.25bn.
As well as the share awards, Moulding will receive a base salary of £750,000 a year – a large increase from the £318,000 he took as salary in 2019. In total last year, Moulding’s company paid him £4.7m, mostly in share awards.
Luke Hildyard, the director of the High Pay Centre, a campaign group, said: “Payments worth hundreds of millions of pounds are far more than any individual needs or could possibly ever spend..." Hildyard said THG was guilty of a “litany of corporate governance abuses”, including an arrangement under which Moulding will receive £19m a year in rent from the company on properties he owns.
Hildyard also criticised the company’s remuneration committee. He said: “As is often the case, THG’s remuneration committee is comprised of other serving executives who personally benefit from the prevailing culture of excessive top pay, and have no incentive to think critically about its costs and benefits – to the business or wider society.”
Share awards kick in for Moulding and other senior executives – including the chief financial officer, John Gallemore, and the commercial director, Steven Whitehead – when the market value of the company’s shares breaches certain levels. As long as the market value remains above those “milestone” levels for more than 15 days, the payouts are triggered.