Recently departed Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green didn’t get a bonus for her last full year in the job, after failing to hit financial targets. That means – cue the world’s tiniest violin – her total pay packet fell 73% to £1.05m.
Green took home a salary of £687,000 for the year to September 30 2014, up a whisker from £680,000 in 2013, while her benefits – including a London pad – fell 18% to £153,000. But the big whack to her wallet came from losing out on a bonus, which was a hefty £1.79m in 2013, according to the travel company’s annual report.
Green’s resignation at the end of November came as a big shock to everyone, including the markets – shares plunged more than 18% the day it was announced. Just days before she’d told MT’s Inspiring Women conference Thomas Cook’s turnaround was ‘absolutely not done’.
But while its shares rose almost 950% during Green’s two-and-a-half year frenzied, cost-cutting tenure, the FTSE 250 travel company clearly wasn’t out of the woods just yet. Sales fell 8% to £8.6bn in her last financial year in charge, although losses shrunk, and its share price had dropped 27% from its 189p peak in March.
And then there were those pesky performance targets for underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) and ‘cash conversion’ (the ratio of net cash from its operations, minus interest, to underlying EBITDA). The former rose 23% to £323m, while the latter improved from 48% to 62%, but both missed targets that were apparently too ‘commercially sensitive’ to disclose, so no clue as to whether Green was close but no cigar or a mile off.
But before anyone feels too sorry for the Green, she does still have more than 8.1 million shares that vest in September 2015 and 2016, worth more than £10.5m at today’s share price of 130p. The famously hyperactive turnaround specialist is apparently on gardening leave until June, according to the Telegraph. MT feels rather sorrier for her neighbours, who may have to put up with her strimming the hedges at 4am every morning.