Tesco’s Terry Leahy deserves his £5.2m – every little helps

It may pale into insignificance besides Reckitt-Benckiser boss Bart Becht’s £90m or so but £5.2m in salary, bonus and shares isn’t a bad result for a successful year’s work.

But when your company makes a record £3.4bn profit then sharing a little around is fair enough. As well as CEO Sir Terry Leahy’s takeaway, Fresh & Easy boss Tim Mason picked up £2.4m and Tesco staff are to share a £105m bonus pot.

Mason, a former Tesco marketing director as is Sir Terry, still has to turn a profit for Tesco’s West Coast convenience store venture but Leahy has been a solid supporter of the venture throughout and will be hoping that the numbers turn black as the US economy recovers.

Under Leahy Tesco has become not just the clear UK market leader but the world’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart with over a third of its sales coming from ventures in central and eastern Europe, China, Thailand and South Korea.

And it’s also succeeded in putting the squeeze on Wal-Mart owned Asda in the UK. Asda boss Andy Bond left recently amid clear signs that the Americans were becoming impatient with its performance.

Asda has recently splashed out around £700m on the relatively tiny Netto chain in the UK, a clear sign that it missed the bus when Tesco and Sainsbury’s were busily expanding into smaller high street stores.

Sir Terry’s earnings look rather better value than Netto

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.