SSP Boss Criticised Over Executive Pay


    Kate Swann, the chief executive officer of airport and station food retailer SSP, is facing a shareholder backlash over her £6.2 million pay packet.

    Glass Lewis, a proxy advisor, suggested that the investors vote against the remuneration package of Swann at a meeting that is scheduled to be held later this month as the level surpasses the compensation that is received by the other chief executives at similar companies.

    The note to shareholders also emphasised the fact that the bonus of Swann is only based on one metric – the underlying operating profit.

    The note stated: “Given the combination of the chief executive’s high base salary and the high annual bonus opportunity based on a single metric which has consistently delivered high payouts, we are unable to recommend shareholders support the remuneration report at this time.”

    The food and drink giant has surpassed profit expectations each year since it listed in London way back in 2014.

    Last November, the former boss of WH Smith announced that she will be stepping down from her post SSP at the end of May. She also announced that Simon Smith, the current regional head for UK and Ireland, will be taking her place.

    The company owns brands such as Millie’s Cookies, Ritazza, and Upper Crust. Its shares plunged after the news of the departure of Swann was revealed.

    Kate Swann is 54 years old. She has been paid a total of £22.4 million since she led the owner of Upper Crust, the baguette chain, to a float in 2014. She still owns shares in the company that are worth approximately £40.3 million.

    Greg Johnson and Clive Black, both analysts from Shore Markets, stated:  “Kate Swann and her team have consistently and diligently delivered against a plan that is quite focused, nay dull at times, in its detail but exciting in the amalgam.”