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New chief at Woolies to be paid $1.9m

GRANT O'BRIEN will begin his job as chief executive of Woolworths on a salary of $1.9 million.

GRANT O'BRIEN will begin his job as chief executive of Woolworths on a salary of $1.9 million.

The salary is just a third of the pay-out that his predecessor, Michael Luscombe, was paid last year but performance-based incentives mean he could quickly match his former boss's package.

Details of Mr O'Brien's fixed remuneration, short- and long-term incentive plans were released yesterday, his 10th day in the top job.

His salary of $1.9 million includes base pay, superannuation and a car.

In 2010-11, Mr Luscombe's remuneration was made up of a fixed wage of $2.259 million and short-term cash bonuses of $2.552 million.

Bonus pay for many Woolworths executives fell last year due to a decline in the share-based payments component of their salaries as a result of weak market conditions and lower profit growth.

Mr O'Brien's short- and long-term incentive plans are capped at 100 per cent of his total remuneration, the final payment to be determined by corporate and financial performance measures.

But his ability to earn those incentives will be made all the harder by the poor trading environment and tough competition between retailers with heavily slashed prices and promotions.

Last month Mr Luscombe warned that company earnings would grow as little as 2 per cent this financial year, Woolworths' slowest in more than a decade, because of the weak trading conditions.


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