Royal Mail's chief executive asked not to have a payrise this year

Despite having steered the company through one of last year's most controversial privatisations, Moya Greene has opted not to take a payrise - which makes her one of the worst-paid FTSE 100 CEOs.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 07 May 2014

Big round of applause (or slow clap, depending on what side of the argument you're on) to Moya Greene, Royal Mail’s chief executive, who has deftly steered the company away from even more controversy by specifically requesting not to get a payrise this year.

‘The remuneration committee… has decided not to propose any base pay increase or new incentive arrangements for the chief executive officer. In doing so, the committee has taken into account the views and wishes of the CEO,’ the company said today.

Greene has been at the helm of the good ship Royal Mail throughout its much-maligned IPO. She’s already had to run the gauntlet of MPs criticising it for under-valuing itself: presumably she wants to avoid the ire of Westminster for a second time.

To be fair, throughout the privatisation Vince Cable has been the single voice in the crowd shouting in Royal Mail’s favour – and by accepting a payrise, she’d be going against recommendations he made when he wrote to chairmen of FTSE 100 remuneration committees earlier this year warning that government action will ‘invariably result’ if they don’t keep a lid on executive payrises.

It’s a wise decision by Greene, but we can’t imagine it feels good: with a package of £1.2m, Greene is one of the worst-paid FTSE 100 chief executives out there. According to a study by the High Pay Centre, the average salary among FTSE 100 chief execs is £4.2m. Even Adam Crozier, her predecessor, got £2.4m back in 2010.

Compare that with Angela Ahrendts, one of Greene’s former FTSE 100 sisters: this morning Apple revealed Ahrendts will be paid $68m in shares over four years just for staying in her job. Suddenly, we don’t blame her for going to the US. A girl’s got to go where she’s wanted…

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