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If you thought 2021 was the year for restraint on boardroom pay, think again

Future Publishing is the latest to fail the test, with Zillah Byng-Thorne’s potential £40m bonus

A pandemic and a recession would, you might think, force remuneration committees of public companies to pause and reflect. After many years of loose talk about showing “restraint” on boardroom pay, should 2021 be the year when the word means something? Maybe some companies are asking the question. But it’s striking how many pay proposals are creating controversy. After Cineworld and The Restaurant Group and others, here comes Future Publishing.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, the chief executive of the firm behind magazines such as PC Gamer and Real Homes, has been paid a little over £25m over the past four years, so can’t really grumble about her lot. Future’s long-term shareholders also did well, it should be said, which is why Byng-Thorne’s incentive schemes came up trumps. If you invested £100 in Future in September 2015, your holding was worth almost £1,500 by September 2020.

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