Marks & Spencer has revealed in its annual report that it paid former Chief Executive Marc Bolland 17 million pounds ($24.6 million) during his six years at the helm of the high street retailer. The total includes 2 million pounds for his last year. So, what did it get for its money?
Bolland arrived in May 2010, and departed in April 2016. Despite his efforts, he never managed to revive M&S's clothing and home furnishing sales. He achieved just one quarter of same store sales growth out of the last 19.
While clothing sales struggled, food fared better, although even its rate of growth slowed over the past year amid food price deflation and intense competition in the grocery market.
Bolland invested about 3 billion pounds in infrastructure projects, including new warehouses and moving control of its website in-house. Some of this was necessary to modernize M&S's supply chain, and laid the ground for new Chief Executive Steve Rowe to make further changes.
The overall effect was that the level of profits was little changed.
Shareholder returns were mixed.
That's not a great return from M&S's investment. And Rowe, who will be paid an annual salary of 810,000 pounds, is ditching some of the key planks of his strategy. The new leader wants to raise clothing sales volumes to a neglected core customer, instead of focusing on increasing the margin derived from clothing.
But he hasn't got off to a great start -- the shares are down 8 percent since he took the helm. M&S, which is still Britain's largest clothing store , is looking to give its customers better value. Investors will want the same.
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