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Travis Perkins boss paid 120,000 for nine weeks' consultancy work

Geoff Cooper - Travis Perkins

THE former chief executive of Travis Perkins was paid £120,000 for just nine weeks’ consultancy work after he stepped down from the company.

Geoff Cooper spent nine years at the helm of the owner of the Wickes DIY chain. He was succeeded on January 1 last year by John Carter, the deputy chief executive, who started as a trainee in 1978.

Despite his successor’s intimate knowledge of the business, Cooper, who had pocketed £10.2m in salary and bonuses in the preceding five years, stayed on to ensure there was a smooth handover.

The company said Travis Perkins needed Cooper because it had unveiled a new strategy, which set new profit growth and return-on-capital targets, the year before his departure.

Cooper also helped with the expansion of its Toolstation arm into Europe.

Carter, who served as Cooper’s deputy for two years and has sat on the board of directors since 2001, made £2.4m in his first year as head of the company.

In addition to his consulting fees, Cooper pocketed £726,000 in shares under the Travis Perkins’ long-term incentive scheme last year. He is set to collect another £832,000 this year in stock under the programme.

Cooper is chairman of homeware giant Dunelm and took over as the £125,000-a-year chairman of Card Factory before the retailer’s stock market float last year. He was handed £660,000 worth of Card Factory stock under the deal.

Paying former executives after they have resigned grates with investors in the wake of the “shareholder spring” revolts over corporate excess.

Last year it emerged that BAE Systems continued to pay its former chairman Sir Dick Olver for more than three months after he had stepped down from the board.

The 68-year-old collected £215,000 in salary and was also provided with a car and chauffeur.

Source : Danny Fortson - The Sunday Times

27 April 2015

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