Salaries up, bonuses down for Financial Times bosses

Financial Times Group chief executive Rona Fairhead was paid £171,000 less in 2008 than in 2007, according to parent group Pearson’s annual report.

Fairhead’s salary was £506,000, up 3.9 per cent from £487,000 in 2007. But her “annual incentive” bonus was £494,000, down 29 per cent from £693,000 in 2007.

The FT Group’s profit rose eight per cent to £195m. But, according to the report, sales were “below threshold”, and operating profit was “between threshold and target””, meaning bonuses were reduced.

Overall, Fairhead’s remuneration was £1.036m, down 14 per cent from £1.207m in 2007.

Fairhead joined Pearson in 2001, and became chief executive in June 2006. She previously worked for ICI and British Aerospace.

All of Pearson’s executive directors saw their salary increase in 2008, but their bonus drop. Group chief executive Marjorie Scardino was paid £2.057m in total, down 12 per cent from £2.332m in 2007.

For 2009, the group has frozen the salary of all those earning more than £30,000. The FT is cutting 80 staff – including 20 journalists – in a cost-cutting drive, as well as slightly reducing pagination.

Elsewhere, the report pays tribute to Sir David Bell, the FT’s chairman and Pearson’s director of people, who is retiring.

Bell started his career as a reporter on the Oxford Mail, before moving to the FT.

Scardino said: “David has played an enormous role in defining the company that Pearson aspires to be today: commercially successful, intellectually courageous, socially responsible.

“He’s passionate about the craft of publishing and the social function of business.

“Over the next few months, I’m sure hordes of people inside and outside Pearson will want to thank David for the role he’s played in their careers, because he has helped many of us along the way. I’ll be the first in line.”

The report also reveals the FT’s sharp price increases – it now costs £1.80 – have, financially, been a success. Circulation revenue grew by 16 per cent in 2008.

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