Sports Direct fights back against executive pay claims
Sports Direct has slammed a report that suggested that the company’s CEO-to-average employee pay ratio was the second highest in the FTSE 350, calling it ‘fake news’.
London newspaper City AM reported on Monday, based on data from Pensions & Investment Research Consultants, that Sports Direct had a chief executive-to-average employee pay ratio of 400:1.
The British retailer, which was been widely criticised last year for its corporate governance and conditions at its warehouse in Shirebrook, said the data was incorrect as it included a bonus entitlement that was never paid.
"This is fake news that appears to have been either deliberately or recklessly circulated by an irresponsible organisation that is making headlines at the expense of Sports Direct. We have contacted PIRC to request a copy of the report and we will be writing to them to express our disappointment," said a spokesman for Sports Direct on Wednesday.
The spokesperson said the unvested bonus entitlement was accrued by Dave Forsey, who served as Sports Direct’s chief executive until September last year.
“This entitlement was accrued over several years (which was not immediately apparent from the published PIRC list, neither would it have amounted to the sum in question), but in any event, Mr Forsey chose to forego the bonus, which was never paid.”
Sports Direct said the “true” CEO-to-average employee pay ratio for the period in question would be 9:1, and added that its current CEO Mike Ashley, does not draw a salary.
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