Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) share price has fallen over one percent today as investors brace for a turbulent annual general meeting tomorrow. The grocer is set to face shareholder revolt over the disparity between executive pay and that of shop staff.
Shareholders advisory group Pirc and proxy voting agency Manifest have both raised concerns about excessive pay for Sainsbury’s CEO, Mike Coupe, and a share award for his predecessor Justin King.
Investors have been urged to vote against Sainsbury’s remuneration report, with Pirc saying that Coupe’s pay, which was £1.5 million including bonuses last year, was excessive compared to that to the relative pay of the average employee at Sainsbury’s. Both Pirc and Manifest also had “significant concerns” about King’s termination arrangements. The former boss, who left Sainsbury’s in June after a decade at the helm, waived his cash severance payment of up to £1.7 million, but held on to long-term share awards, which are subject to performance targets.
Ahead of tomorrow’s AGM, Sainsbury’s has signed a deal with Eagle Eye, the virtual voucher business backed by former Tesco (LON:TSCO) boss Sir Terry Leahy. The multi-year contract, announced today, is for the deployment of the Eagle Eye transaction software platform AIR, which will transform the way the supermarket runs promotions and handles online discount vouchers. Eagle Eye’s software also enables retailers to register patterns of shopping behaviour and adapt promotions accordingly. It can be used to combat fraud, as grocers often complain that money-off vouchers are easily photocopied and can be used on different brands of products, much to the vexation of suppliers.
By 14:10 BST, Sainsbury’s share price had fallen 1.22 percent to 259.90p. The FTSE 100-listed retailer has seen its stock gain over five since the beginning of the year.