M&S will pay its first female executive £750,000 for working a four-day week – £140,000 more pro-rata than her male counterpart.
Mother-of-two Katie Bickerstaffe was named as M&S co-chief executive in March, alongside Stuart Machin, who she will report to.
Machin will receive an annual salary of £800,000 in comparison to Bickerstaffe’s £750,000.
However, Machin will work full-time, while his co-chief will only work four days a week. This means that Bickerstaffe would earn £937,000 if she worked the same hours.
According to the Telegraph, sources have defended the move by claiming that both would be working long hours and so calculating their salaries on a pro-rate basis would be inaccurate.
Machin and Bickerstaffe replaced former boss Steve Rowe, who stepped down after six years in the helm.
Katie Bickerstaffe was named as M&S co-chief executive in March, alongside Stuart Machin, who she will report to
Machin will receive an annual salary of £800,000 in comparison to Bickerstaffe’s £750,000. However, Machin will work full-time, while his co-chief will only work four days a week
The dual leadership role was previously criticised, prompting chairman Archie Norman to say that it allowed M&S to retain top talent and offer continuity
Bickerstaffe, former boss of Dixons Carphone’s UK and Ireland business, is the firm’s first female leader in its 138-year history.
She was initially drafted into a non-executive board role in 2018. In 2020, she moved to a significantly more hands-on role as strategy and transformation director.
Bickerstaffe is a keen supporter of flexible working and had a four-day working week in her previous roles.
In an interview last year, she said: ‘At some point you’re looking at stuff seven days a week [in a senior management role],
‘We’re a seven day a week, 24-hour operation and that’s what you do, but I’ve always done that because it gives me the freedom to spend some downtime with my kids and not feel that I don’t have the opportunity to do that during the week. It really matters to me.
Bickerstaffe, former boss of Dixons Carphone’s UK and Ireland business, is the firm’s first female leader in its 138-year history
‘Everyone that works for me knows that I’ve always had my phone with me, I always check through stuff, there’s never ever been a problem with it.’
However, it has been suggested that the four-day week blocked her from getting the top job.
Her co-boss Machin joined M&S to run its food business in 2018. He has close to 30 years experience working in food, fashion and homewares.
Who is Katie Bickerstaffe, M&S’s first ever female boss?
Mother-of-two Katie Bickerstaffe was named as M&S co-chief executive in March, making her the fist female boss in the country’s 138-year history.
A Geography graduate, she started as a management trainee at Unilever before working for huge brands like PepsiCo, Kwik Save, Dyson and Somerfield.
Bickerstaffe then went on to run Dixon Carphone’s UK and and Ireland for several years, improving its digital offering.
She went on to serve as executive chair on SSE Energy before joining M&S as a non-executive director in 2018.
In April 2020, she was made chief strategy and transformation director in during the pandemic.
A successful stint saw her remit expanded to joint chief operating officer in May last year. Now, she is joint boss of the company.
Bickerstaff also has non-executive positions of the England and Wales Cricket Board and Barratt Developments.
The company previously said in its annual report that ‘there was careful deliberation when setting the pay arrangements for Stuart and Katie’.
The report revealed ex-boss Rowe witnessed his pay and bonus package more than double to £2.6 million for the past year.
The retailer also confirmed that the new top three bosses at the business are in line for around £15 million if they meet bonus targets.
It comes shortly after the bosses of Tesco and Sainsbury’s also witnessed large jumps in their total pay deals despite the volatile economic backdrop.
Rowe, who stepped down as chief executive officer of M&S last month, saw pay and bonuses jump from £1.07 million in the previous financial year.
The former chief received a salary of £841,000 for the year to April 2 but saw his total pay deal lifted heavily by £1.6 million in bonus, alongside other benefits.
It came after Rowe led the company to a pre-tax profit of £391.7 million for the year as it continued its lengthy turnaround.
During his six years leading the business, Rowe was tasked with reversing the fortunes of the company’s declining clothing and home business as well as shaking up its store portfolio, leading to high street closures and staff redundancies.
Meanwhile, chief finance officer Eoin Tonge received a £1.85 million package for the year, representing a slight decrease on the previous financial year.
Rowe handed over leadership of the chain to Machin and Bickerstaffe last month, but will continue to advise the new leadership team in the short term.
The two new bosses and Mr Tonge will now be in line for around £5 million each in 2025 if they each hit targets by that year.
In April, Marks & Spencer increased the basic rate of pay for 40,000 store workers, ensuring its base rate of pay is ahead of both national and real living wage including across London.
In its annual report, M&S also confirmed that it has no plans to return to physical shareholder meetings and will hold its annual general meeting virtually again later this year despite the easing of pandemic restrictions.