The man who’s leading the Co-op Group

The Co-operative Group’s chief executive Richard Pennycook is clearly a busy man these days, and not just in sorting out the Group’s business.  An interesting anonymous email to arrive in my inbox draws attention to the fact that Pennycook has three lucrative non-executive directorships.

He drew a salary last year of £62,400 as a non-exec at house builders Persimmon. He joined the joinery business Howdens in September last year and was paid £15,000 for the two and a half months as a  non-exec up to December; he would appear to be in line for around £43,000 this year. And he is non-executive Chairman of the Hut Group. (“Remuneration not available – however has £35,172 shares at a reduced option price which will be considerably enhanced once, as expected, the company goes to the Stock Exchange” claims my source.)

As for his pay at the Co-op, his target remuneration package (again according to my source) is £2.3m. Lovely jubbly.

Activists have pointed out that the recent governance changes at the Group open up its Board to the usual coterie of non-executive directors, who may or may not be skilled in managing businesses but are certainly skilled in scratching each others’ backs. It’s interesting to see that the Group’s senior management is already practising what it now preaches.

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