September 24, 2023

ESCO boss Ken Murphy took home pay of £4.44 million this year, a sum that could spark anger amid a cost-of-living crisis and food inflation running at more than 15%.

The CEO’s pay is slightly less than the £4.75 million he will receive in 2022.

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City sources say Murphy, who was born in Cork, is registered for tax in Ireland and pays a lower tax rate than he does here.

Tesco has been contacted for comment but has not yet replied.

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Arch rival Sainsbury’s will pay its chief executive Simon Roberts £3.8 million in 2022, 183 times more than the average employee at the supermarket.

Tesco’s finance director Imran Nawaz was paid £1.91 million to £2.27 million.

As the UK’s biggest grocer, Tesco posted sales of £57.7bn last year, making a profit of £2.6bn.

While this is a relatively narrow profit margin, there is concern that the industry is taking advantage of inflation to unfairly raise prices.

Consumers are angry at rising prices and this morning the Treasury’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee told MPs they are investigating “fairness in the food supply chain”.

“Our fantastic team of associates are at the heart of Tesco”, said Tesco in the annual report today. It recently announced an increase in hourly wages to £11.02 for its 254,000 UK employees.

Murphy’s salary is equal to that of his predecessor Dave Lewis, although Lewis received £6.3 million in 2019. This is still around 200 times the average salary at Tesco, which is usually around £20,000. Tesco points out that it has a high number of part-time employees.

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Tesco’s GPG (Gender Pay Gap) increased to 6.9%, which is less than half the UK average of 14.9%.

The annual report says: “Our GPG is due to two key factors. First we have a higher number of male colleagues in more senior roles. We are committed to increasing the percentage of female associates in such roles to ensure that our leadership team truly reflects our client base and the broader associate population.

“We will continue to drive female representation in all roles to close the gap.”