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John Lewis chairman picks up bonus for first time in three years

Press Association
25 April 2019

John Lewis chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield has opted to take a bonus for the first time in three years, just weeks after the retailer’s staff were forced to accept a dramatic cut to their bonus.

The businessman will take the 3% partnership bonus, in line with all other staff at the group.

The 2019 bonus is the lowest since the 1950s, following a dramatic drop in underlying profits at the John Lewis and Waitrose owner.

In 2018 and 2017, Sir Charlie chose not to receive the partnership bonus.

Collecting it adds £33,000 to his pay packet, which is otherwise unchanged, taking the total to £1.444m.

In March, it was announced that the retailer would offer its employees a bonus of just 3%. This was a result of profit before tax, exceptionals and bonuses plummeting by 45.4% to £160m.

While overall revenue climbed 1% to £10.3bn for the period ending 26 January, operating profits were down sharply due to challenges at John Lewis.

Sir Charlie’s base salary remained stable at £1.109m after he indicated for a second year running that his rate should be unchanged.

His pay will also be the same next year, after the committee agreed that an increase would not be “appropriate”.

It will be Sir Charlie’s final year at the business, following his announcement that he will retire in 2020.

The partnership’s 2019 annual report, released on Thursday, said that the search for a successor was ongoing.

As outgoing chairman, Sir Charlie has ultimate deciding say over who will succeed him. However, the process is overseen by the nominations committee and advised by search consultants Egon Zehnder.

As part of the process, the nominations committee has undertaken an unconscious bias workshop, prior to drawing up a formal list of potential candidates.

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