THE REVELATION that Vodafone's chief executive Christopher Gent is to receive bonuses totalling £3.9...
THE REVELATION that Vodafone's chief executive Christopher Gent is to receive bonuses totalling £3.9m - despite the company announcing pre-tax losses of £6.2bn yesterday - has once more sparked a "fat cat" pay controversy, reports the Scotsman.
Gent – who will receive the bonuses on top of his salary of £1.2m - defended the bonuses as a reward for hitting performance targets set by the Vodafone board.
This is the second time Gent's pay has attracted the anger of shareholders. In 2001 he was criticised for receiving £6m in salary and bonus payments at the same time as the company reported the biggest loss in UK corporate history.
The losses came after a £14.1bn charge for goodwill costs from some of the £170bn in acquisitions Gent has supervised.
These figures could have been a lot worse had Vodafone decided to write-down the value of its investment in next-generation 3G licences, writes the Scotsman.
However, the company's chief operating officer Julian Horn-Smith declined allegations that a 3G write-down had been avoided in order to prop up Gent's bonuses, saying the issues were judged on completely separate criteria.
THE GOVERNMENT also came under fire yesterday as Andrew Smith, the secretary of state for Work and Pensions, was fiercely criticised for pulling out of a key speech at a pensions conference for the second time, writes the Times.
Smith's cancellation of his keynote speech at the Institute of Actuaries' pensions conference in Brighton next week, added to the anger he provoked last week when he pulled out of the NAPF's annual conference at the last minute.
Amid concern about the deepening pension crisis, Smith's latest move has led pensions professionals to criticise the Government for lacking the resolve to solve the pensions crisis.
AFTER YESTERDAY declaring that it will be selling its home shopping division to Barclay brothers, GUS announced this morning that it was planning a partial IPO of its South African business in 2004, writes the Financial Times.
According to the group's chief executive John Peace, the IPO will include 350 Lewis Stores furniture shops and 45 retail outlets of Best Electrical.
The IPO was chosen because it was hard to estimate the value of the group, GUS said. However, financial director David Tyler estimates the value of the offer to about £150m-£250m.
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