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Share price leap hands Centrica boss a £4m pay rise

Chris O’Shea’s pay has rocketed – and so have bills

A sharp rise in the share price of Centrica, parent of British Gas, has helped push up the pay package for its chief executive by nearly £4 million.

Chris O’Shea last year received total pay worth £8.2 million, up from £4.5 million in the previous 12 months.

That included £810,000 in salary, about £1.4 million in annual bonuses and £5.9 million in longer-term bonuses based on the company’s share price performance. Shares in the company have risen on the back of rocketing profits, driven by soaring energy prices.

This left consumers facing sky-high bills for gas and electricity, with thousands struggling to meet new payments.

Centrica’s annual report revealing 50-year-old Mr O’Shea’s remuneration is published two months after he admitted he could not justify his pay packet.

Speaking on breakfast television in January about his £4.5 million pay from the year before, he said: “It’s a huge amount of money, I am incredibly fortunate. I don’t set my own pay, that’s set by our remuneration committee. That’s the first bonus I’ve taken in my time at Centrica, for a number of years, I’ve given up bonuses because of hardships that customers were facing.”

He added: “You’ve got to recognise that when you’ve got people who are struggling, and I look at my mum who’s on the basic state pension, it’s just impossible to justify so there’s no point in trying to do that.”

Mr O’Shea joined Centrica in 2018 as finance director becoming the chief executive in 2020. The company said his pay was linked to the financial performance of the company and the performance of its share price.

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