New Royal Mail chairman approved ‘disgraceful’ pay for top bosses

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New Royal Mail chairman approved ‘disgraceful’ pay for top bosses

City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail

Royal Mail is facing a backlash over its new chairman, given his role approving ‘disgraceful’ pay packets for top bosses.

Les Owen was on the pay committee that signed off a ‘golden hello’ worth almost £6million for new chief executive Rico Back, 64, who will run the company while he is living in Zurich.

The committee also handed a golden goodbye worth up to £2.7m to outgoing Moya Greene, also 64.

Golden hello: Royal Mail's new chief executive Rico Back, 64, will receive almost £6m

Golden hello: Royal Mail's new chief executive Rico Back, 64, will receive almost £6m

Golden hello: Royal Mail’s new chief executive Rico Back, 64, will receive almost £6m

The deals triggered a 70 per cent shareholder revolt, one of the largest rebellions in UK corporate history, in July. 

But despite the row, Owen, 69, was promoted to chairman this week after Peter Long, 66, stepped down to focus on other commitments. 

His appointment was overseen by Orna Ni-Chionna, the senior independent director at Royal Mail who is also chairman of the pay committee that Owen sat on.

Cliff Weight, from shareholder group Sharesoc, said: ‘Shareholders would welcome a fresh perspective from a chairman who was not involved in setting the disgraceful remuneration.’ The pay deals at Royal Mail are being scrutinised by MPs.

A Royal Mail spokesman said Owen would be independent-minded and it was listening to shareholders, He added: ‘We also strongly believe that we did the right thing. The payments were based on contracts.’

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