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Sat June 12 2021

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Persimmon bosses give up their bonuses

3 Apr 20 Things must be bad – the Persimmon board have decided to waive their bonuses this year.

Persimmon’s executive directors have elected to take a voluntary, temporary 20% reduction in base salary, as of 1st April 2020 until work re-starts on sites.

They have also decided to forgo any cash bonuses which may have been payable for 2020.

House-builder Persimmon, which made more than  £1bn in pre-tax profit last year (and the year before) on sales of £3.6bn, is one of Brtiain’s most profitable companies and its executives are famously well-rewarded for this.

Former CEO Jeff Fairburn was in line for a £110m bonus in 2018 because of the company’s soaring share price. After a public outcry he agreed to make do with £75m instead but his position became untenable amid the controversy. Persimmon had become synonymous with executive greed and snouts in the trough.

Jeff Fairburn was replaced last year by managing director David Jenkinson, whose own bonus that year was more than £40m. It looks like those days might be over.

Last week Persimmon announced a number of measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the temporary closure of all sales outlets and an orderly shutdown of its construction sites. Executive pay restraint has followed on nine days later.

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