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By Michael Northcott Tuesday, 08 January 2013

British Gas boss gets £13m leaving package

The chief of British Gas, Phil Bentley, is set to leave the firm later this year, pocketing £13m in salary, bonus, pension pot and shares.

Cue public outcry. The managing director of the utility firm, who has been in post since 2006, is to quit this year in the midst of a management overhaul. According to Daily Mail coverage on Tuesday, he will receive a ‘golden goodbye’ consisting of a year’s salary at £635,000, a bonus of almost £400k, a pension pot of about £3.6m and around £8.3m in shares.

As the Mail pointed out, this severance package will provide Bentley with enough money to pay the average family’s gas and lecky bill for 9,500 years. And given that energy prices have been increasing at above the rate inflation, many will find it distasteful (to put it lightly) that the senior figure who presided over those price rises should walk off with such an significant amount of money.

It is thought that Bentley’s departure is because of a spat with Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of British Gas’ owner, Centrica, who has an eye firmly on ways to achieve growth in the face of gradually increasing regulation.

No doubt that means bigger bills for the 12m homes on British Gas’ roll then. Great.

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