M&S bosses share £9m as High Street chain’s recovery sparks biggest pay day in over a decade

Marks & Spencer bosses scooped more than £4million each last year after its recovery sparked the biggest pay day for more than a decade.

Chief executive Stuart Machin – who has spearheaded the High Street retailer’s turnaround and its return to the FTSE 100 – was paid £4.7million. 

His co-chief executive Katie Bickerstaffe, who is stepping down next month, was handed £4.4million despite working a four-day week.

Machin’s pay day was the biggest for an M&S boss since Marc Bolland earned £6million in 2010-11.

Both Machin and Bickerstaffe got £2million more than in the previous year.

Bumper payouts: M&S Chief exec Stuart Machin, left, was paid £4.7m while co-chief exec Katie Bickerstaffe, right, was handed £4.4m despite working a four-day week

Shares have more than doubled in value since the pair took over in May 2022. Hailing a ‘successful turnaround’ after years in the doldrums, M&S chairman Archie Norman insisted ‘we are in the foothills of what we can achieve’.

Writing in the group’s annual report, he praised the departing Bickerstaffe for having ‘brought a bolt of electricity to our proceedings’. 

Norman was paid £652,000 last year – up 3 per cent on the year before. He has been chairman since 2017 and is approaching the end of the typical nine-year tenure.

Machin topped up his £908,000 salary and pension contributions with £3.8million in bonuses and share awards – a large portion of which is deferred. 

He started his retail career aged 16 at a Sainsbury’s in Kent, where he stacked shelves for £3.80 an hour.

From July, his annual salary will rise by 3 per cent to £848,720.

After years of its fashion lines being derided as ‘dowdy’, M&S has managed to entice new and younger shoppers thanks in part to star-studded partnerships with the likes of actresses Sienna Miller and Hannah Waddingham. 

A reinvigorated grocery line means it is hot on the heels of Middle England rival Waitrose.

In the clearest sign yet that its turnaround is paying off, last month it said profits jumped 58 per cent to £716million in the year to the end of March.

Writing in the annual report Machin said ‘the financial health of the business is as strong as it’s been in decades’. He went on: ‘We have a clear plan, a clear vision for the future, and there is so much opportunity ahead of us.’

An M&S spokesman said: ‘M&S delivered a strong performance, attracting one million more customers, growing sales, market share and profits, investing in the biggest ever pay award for our store colleagues and paying a dividend to shareholders for the first time in four years.

‘When it comes to Stuart’s pay, he received £1.69million this year with the rest being deferred variable pay which is subject to holding periods and its value dependent on future share price performance.’

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