Although her basic salary has been frozen since 2008 at £750,000, bonuses, shares and pension contributions took her total pay up to almost £1.7m in 2010. Results for last year are yet to be announced but a figure of around £1m is expected.
TM’s shareholders are now getting increasingly hot under the collar over what many see as Bailey’s performance inversely related pay. One top 10 investor described her package as ‘just not tenable’ before going onto add rather ominously that ‘It is premature to say that we are demanding her head but we are looking at it all very keenly.’ Another added in similar veiled vein, ‘Sly hasn’t got many supporters now, not when she has lost so much and is so well paid.’
But why the sudden burst of activity now? It doesn’t bode well for the Government’s faith in the power of shareholder activism to rein in excessive pay if it takes nearly a decade for them to creak into action. Well, partly it’s the tenor of the times and the paucity of rewards on offer for shareholders everywhere. And partly it’s because TM investors are taking advantage of the arrival of new chairman David Grigson to deliver a few home truths. The message they want him to convey to Bailey seems pretty unvarnished from where we are standing.
The shareholder pressure came only a day after the announcement that TM was making another 75 journalists redundant, too, so Bailey doesn’t have too many reasons to be cheerful at the moment. Although she has managed to stay afloat and pretty much unscathed in the sharkpool of the phone hacking enquiries - so far at least.
Of course it has been a torrid decade in the newspaper business and TM is not alone in having been battered by the rise of new technologies and customer behaviour. But now the group’s shareholders have written their own front-page banner headline for the CEO, things could get pretty heated. Trinity Mirror’s AGM is in May, and MT reckons it will be quite a spectacle…