The Caterer

Greene King paid departing Rooney Anand £850,000 to protect business

07 August 2019 by
Greene King paid departing Rooney Anand £850,000 to protect business

Greene King paid departing chief executive Rooney Anand £850,000 to prevent him taking positions with its rivals or offering jobs to key staff.

Anand had been chief executive of the pub group for 14 years and announced he was stepping down late last year. Soon after he was appointed chairman of Casual Dining Group.

However, in the group's annual report, it said his 2004 contract terms were "inadequate" to protect the company from him joining competitors or poaching Greene King employees. Anand has been credited with transforming the regional brewer and pub business into one of the UK's leading pub companies.

Anand agreed to restrictions including, for the 12 months after his termination date, not taking on an executive or non-executive position with 18 named competitors.

The group said it was "vital" for Greene King to secure such protections, as "he is not retiring on stepping down from the company" and "could have chosen to remain active as an executive within our industry".

Anand's contract also permitted him to leave on six months' notice, which Greene King said would have left the company "exposed", given that any successor from outside the company would likely not be available until the end of their own notice period.

The payment in May, broadly equivalent to one year's fixed pay, is described as "proportionate compensation for Anand delaying his potential departure to ensure a smooth transition and agreeing not to join named key competitors".

Anand was replaced by Nick Mackenzie from Merlin Entertainments earlier this year, and the group reported stable pre-tax profits (adjusted) of £246.9m in June, an increase of 1.6% on the previous year.

Greene King reports stable profits >>

Nick Mackenzie to replace Rooney Anand at Greene King >>

Rooney Anand to step down as Greene King CEO after 14 years >>

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