Shareholders showed their dismay at the decision, and its eventual reversal, to award a huge share bonus to former chairman Sir Peter Davis with 28.6% refusing to approve the directors remuneration report at its Westminster AGM yesterday.
Despite assurance by acting chairman Lord Levene that the report would not see Davis receive a bonus of 864,000 shares - a decision earlier overturned by the board - shareholders at the meeting voiced their concerns at the company’s handling of Davis’ departure.
They called for an apology from directors, several requested that board members step down, and one attendee protested at what he saw as bonuses being rewarded to executives for failure.
Figures revealed at the meeting showed 30% of proxy voters refusing to back the remuneration report.
The Sainbury family, who hold 38% of shares, voted in favour of the resolution and stated that this was “in the company’s interests.”
Lord Levene said the decision to award the share bonus to Davis was reversed after “new information came to the attention of the company,” but would not reveal more to shareholders for legal reasons.
Chief executive Justin King is due to report the findings of a company review on October 19.