Marc Bolland is facing his first controversy as Marks & Spencer chief – three months before he is due to take the reins – over the size of his pay package.

Yesterday M&S confirmed Bolland would receive up to £15m in his first year as chief executive of the high street icon, comprising £7.3m in pay and potential bonuses, plus £7.5m to compensate him for lost earnings at Morrisons.

“We are opposed to this sort of golden hello,” said shareholder body PIRC. “It distorts the market for executives, and compensating directors for the loss of bonuses and incentives at their previous company makes a mockery of the idea that the already high levels of remuneration act to retain key people.”

Bolland’s basic pay will be £975,000 a year, with the potential for bonuses worth 2.5 times his salary. He will begin in his new role on 1 May – six months before the end of his contract with Morrisons, where he was paid £1.7m in 2009.

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