R43million reward for Woolworths’ former chief executive Ian Moir, Newsline

JOHANNESBURG – Woolworths (Woolies) rewarded its former chief executive, Ian Moir, with nearly R43million as part of his pay package for the year ended in June, as well as additional remuneration for contractual obligations.

The group’s 2020 annual report yesterday showed that Moir’s total remuneration for the year reached R13.9m, R7.3m less than he received in 2019, as senior executives decided to forgo 30percent of their salaries between April and June due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Moir resigned as group chief executive in February and was appointed as the acting chief executive of David Jones. He is expected to hold this role until a suitable candidate is appointed.

The group is in the process of recruiting a new permanent David Jones chief executive and hopes to make an appointment as soon as the most demanding of the current restrictions on movement have been lifted in Australia.

Woolies said that additional remuneration still due to Moir as a result of his contractual obligations, included A$576 215 (R7m) for his role as acting chief executive of David Jones from February 17, and A$1.9m as a settlement of outstanding leave and 12 months’ notice pay. Moir will also receive a A$2.9m restraint of trade payment in the 2023 financial year.

The group said that its remuneration committee had evaluated the restraint of trade agreement for Moir, which had been negotiated in 2013 before the acquisition of David Jones and applied to South Africa only.

“To protect the group, an extended restraint of trade also covering Australasia was negotiated and, should Ian not breach his obligations, a restraint of trade payment of A$2.9m is due to him in the 2023 financial year,” said the annual report.

The group said Moir would be issued with no further shares in terms of his employment agreement from 2019 onwards as part of the agreement.

The agreement entitled him to shares to the value of 150percent of his guaranteed package a year.

Moir was appointed chief executive in 2010 and led the R21.4bn acquisition of David Jones, one of Australia’s oldest and most prominent department stores.

However, David Jones has underperformed, and during the year under review turnover and concession sales at David Jones declined by 17.2 percent in the second half of the year, ending the year 6.4 percent below the prior year.

The decline in-store sales were partly mitigated by the shift to online, which grew by 100.7percent in the second half, contributing 18.4percent to sales.

The group said it paid Moir’s successor, Roy Bagattini, R15.7m; chief financial officer Reeza Isaacs, R8.1m; group chief operating officer Sam Ngumeni, R9.7m; and executive director Zyda Rylands, R11.6m.

Meanwhile, the group’s almost 45000 employees received R25.6m.