Four Ocado bosses are being handed shares worth £116m after its stock market value soared on the back of the pandemic boom in grocery home shopping.
The company’s chief executive, Tim Steiner, will be granted 2.45m shares, worth £66.2m at the current share price. Minerva, a shareholder adviser, said the scheme could transfer significant equity value to the chief executive and considering Steiner was already a significant shareholder it was hard to accept it was there to “attract, recruit and retain”.
The group’s chief operating officer, Mark Richardson; Luke Jensen, who runs its tech business, Ocado Solutions; and Neil Abrams, the company secretary, will also each receive 600,000 shares, worth £16.2m under the so-called “value creation plan”.
The pay gap between the Ocado chief executive and the company’s median employee is already the widest of any company in the FTSE 100.
Luke Hildyard of the High Pay Centre said, “The size of these payouts will prompt debate about governance reforms such as profit sharing schemes or worker representation on boards that would enable some of the company’s 17,000 delivery drivers, warehouse operatives and administrative staff to win a share of the tens of millions lavished on directors.”