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By
Reuters
Published
Oct 27, 2014
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New Tesco boss Lewis gets "golden hello" share options

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 27, 2014

LONDON, United Kingdom - Embattled British retailer Tesco has handed its new boss Dave Lewis a potentially lucrative "golden hello", awarding him options for 1.66 million shares to compensate for benefits he surrendered when he quit his previous job.

The options, priced at 230.4 pence apiece, were worth 3.8 million pounds ($6 million) based on Tesco's share price in early September when Lewis joined, though since then the stock has plummeted in the wake of an accounting scandal.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis. Source: Tesco PLC


The options, which he can cash in through the next three years, were worth almost 2.7 million pounds when they were announced on Monday, though their eventual value is contingent on the performance of Tesco's share price in the meantime.

Lewis was given the options to compensate him for awards he had to forfeit when he left consumer goods group Unilever Plc to take up the job at Britain's biggest supermarket operator.

Tesco also said it had awarded its new finance director, Alan Stewart, who joined from retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc in late September, around 880,000 shares at an average price of 191.7p to compensate for forfeiting his previous awards.

Both executives, who were rushed in earlier than scheduled to lead a revival plan, could also be handed more options to reflect dividend payments that would have applied to the shares.

Stewart will also receive a further award in June next year to compensate him for a forfeited M&S bonus.

In the latest in a string of bad headlines, Tesco last week reported a bigger than expected hole in its finances after finding that accounting transgressions went back further than initially thought, prompting its chairman to quit.

Tesco shares were down 1.4 percent to 166.35p at 1437 GMT.

1 US dollar = 0.6197 British pound

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