Future of Work

The boss of online shopping company Ocado has bagged a £54m bonus, despite his firm posting a bruising £214.5m loss last year. Tim Steiner got the windfall after an incentive scheme tied to the firm’s share price paid out.

It comes on top of a further £4.7m in salary and other bonuses for Mr Steiner, bringing his total pay in 2019 to £58.7m. Ocado is seeing strong sales but has not made a profit for three years.

For years the firm, which sells groceries online and has no physical stores, failed to live up to its potential, disappointing investors.

But since 2017, its fortunes have picked up as it struck partnerships with major retailers including M&S and Kroger in the US. It has caused a five-year “growth incentive plan” to kick in, the firm explained in its 2019 annual report which was published today.

Some £88m will be shared among its top executives through the scheme, it said.

Alongside Mr Steiner’s payout, the firm’s finance director, Duncan Tatton-Brown, and chief operating officer, Mark Richardson, have both banked £14m. Luke Jensen, who runs Ocado’s tech division, will get £6m.

In its annual results published on Tuesday, Ocado blamed its hefty loss on a fire at its Andover warehouse, which is now being rebuilt. The firm also said it had been spending heavily on building more fulfilment centres.

But it said revenue had risen 10% for the year to 31 December to £1.7bn.

The company, which was founded in 2000, now has orders to build 30 warehouses around the world, with the first overseas depots due to open in Canada and France this year.

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