Trinity Mirror reduces exec bonuses

Trinity Mirror reduced the cash bonuses payable to its executive directors by 50% in 2012.

The newspaper publisher’s annual report also showed that the executive directors did not wish to be considered for base salary reviews in 2013.

The average salary increase for all staff across the group was 2%.

The report outlined a number of changes implemented in 2012 following a review of the organisation’s remuneration packages for executive directors.

The changes implemented included:

  • The potential cash bonus payable to the executive directors was reduced by 50%.
  • The remaining 50% of bonus became payable in restricted shares that would only be released after three years and would be subject to new malus and forfeiture provisions.
  • The deferred share award scheme, which had seen shares equal in value to 60% of actual cash bonus, was discontinued.
  • The potential value of the discontinued short-term elements of the remuneration packages was moved into a new long-term incentive plan (L-tip).

Simon Fox, chief executive of Trinity Mirror since September 2012, was engaged on the following terms:

  • A base salary of £500,000, compared to £750,000 for the former chief executive.
  • Cash bonus potential of 37.5% of salary, compared to 110% previously.
  • A restricted share award subject to meeting bonus targets of a maximum of 37.5% salary, compared to a deferred share award of up to 66% salary.
  • A cash supplement in lieu of pension of 15% base salary, previously 33%.

Group finance director Vijay Vaghela saw his cash bonus potential reduce from 100% of salary to 50%, while group legal director Paul Vickers saw his reduce from 75% of salary to 37.5%. Vaghela has agreed to a further reduction from 50% to 37.5% for 2013.

The report showed that there was no payment under the 2012 annual bonus scheme. For context, the total cash bonus opportunity for maximum performance has reduced from around £1.52 million for three executive directors in 2011 to £630,000 for four executive directors in 2013.

Jane Lighting, chairman of the remuneration committee, said in the report: “The remuneration committee undertook a review of all the elements of the remuneration packages of the executive directors and other senior executives.

“We agreed that the relative weighting of short-term cash reward and longer term share-based incentives needed to be rebalanced.

“We recognised that the size of the remuneration packages, particularly their cash elements, had become out of balance. This was despite the fact that there had been a freeze in executive salaries since 2008.”