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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Vodafone boss pockets 10m pension
Sir Christopher Gent
Sir Christopher has plenty to smile about
Outgoing Vodafone boss Sir Christopher Gent has had his pension increased to more than 10m, it has emerged.

The mobile phone mogul, who steps down next month after 17 years, has also seen the value of his basic pay and shares package leap 20% in the past year, according to the company's annual report.

The company's accounts, published on Thursday, show he collected 2.9m - not counting long-term incentives - in the year to 31 March.

At the same time, the transfer value of his pension soared by 3.3m in just one year to a total of 10.4m - meaning that he can expect an annual pension of around 662,000 when he retires.


The generous remuneration package is likely to fuel growing controversy over executive pay.

Sir Christopher's millions
Basic pay: 1.3m
Performance related bonus: 1.6m
Transfer value of pension: 10m

But Vodafone executives' basic salaries account for just a fifth of their potential packages, with the rest being made up of performance-related bonuses, shares and options.

The company's annual report shows Sir Christopher's basic pay rose by 6% to 1.3m.

On top of that, he was awarded a performance-related bonus of 1.6m - a 34% increase on the previous year's figure.


The figure is in line with the company's performance, with annual results last month showing a 36% rise in underlying profit to 8.43bn.

Although once write-downs in the value of Vodafone assets - mostly overpriced foreign acquisitions - are taken into account, the company made a loss of 6.2bn.

In addition to its pay and pension scheme, Vodafone runs a long-term incentive plan which pays shares to executives based on the value of the company's share price compared to those of its competitors.

Based on Vodafone's current share price, Sir Christopher stands to pocket around 380,000 when he cashes in the shares next year.

New boss

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Sir Christopher's replacement, Arun Sarin who takes over next month, has signed a contract preventing from being sacked by text message or e-mail.

The company's board will have to send Mr Sarin a fax or resort to paper and ink if they want to dismiss him.

Last month, the personal injury firm The Accident Group sparked controversy by firing many of its 2,500 staff by text message.

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