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Big pay day for CEO

Gas chief gets 44% pay rise despite customer exodus

Scottish Gas

CEO’s salary hike has been branded ‘obscene’


 

Scottish Gas owner Centrica handed its chief executive Iain Conn a 44% pay rise last year, even though the company lost 742,000 energy supply accounts.

His £2.4 million salary is 72 times greater than the annual wage paid to its smart energy experts who earn £33,718, and also follows the axing of 4,000 jobs.

The pay deal comes in what the company described as a “challenging year” and issued a warning that its profits would take a hit from the government’s energy price cap.

Mr Conn’s pay rose from £1.7m in 2017 because he did not receive a bonus that year, while in 2016 he received £4m.

In its annual report, Centrica said Mr Conn, pictured, had been “reshaping” the company against “the challenge of a constantly shifting operating environment”.

It went on: “Iain has shown significant resilience in the face of this challenge and has led the business through the shifting context, keeping the strategic objectives in sight and ensuring that the organisation remains adaptable and innovative”.

The company’s shares fell to near 20-year lows after the warning in February that profits would be knocked by Ofgem’s price cap, amid fears it would cut its dividend.

GMB Scotland brands pay rise ‘obscene’

GMB Scotland branded the pay increase as ‘obscene’, coming just four days after customer service workers in Glasgow and Edinburgh operations were told that jobs were under threat as part of a 4,000 post reduction by 2020.

Management admitted last week that Hive operations will be relocated to Romania by the end of the year, with management seeking volunteers from City Park to train their replacements in Romania.

Hive is one of the only growth parts of the business at the moment and it is a key part of the future of the company.

GMB Scotland organiser Hazel Nolan said: “It is absolutely obscene that less that week after the second wave of a 4,000 job cuts plan was announced, Iain Conn has received this massive pay increase.

“Staff that have been told their jobs are being shipped to Eastern Europe for a fraction of the price will be outraged and it’s difficult to find the words to describe the absolute injustice of this – it represents everything that is going wrong in our labour market today.

“Under Iain Conn’s leadership this once great British institution is being run into the ground. Millions of customers have been lost, prices have been hiked and thousands of jobs have been cut.

“GMB will do everything we can to mitigate the imminent cuts affecting our members but morale is already at rock bottom and this latest news simply compounds the misery – it’s a massive two fingers to staff struggling at coal face of this company.”

Comment: Conn controversy is an echo of the original British Gas fat cat



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