LONDON (Reuters) – Financial Times Chief Executive John Ridding is to give some of his 2.6 million pound salary back to the company after a group of the newspaper’s reporters complained about his pay, according to an email to staff seen by Reuters.
Earlier this month Steve Bird, joint head of the paper’s National Union of Journalists group, wrote to FT editors and journalists across the world, saying Ridding’s pay was absurdly high and that he should give some back to help those on lower salaries.
Ridding said his salary was established by Japanese media group Nikkei, which bought the Financial Times in 2015, and was independently assessed and “highly performance-related”.
“While our performance has been strong, I recognise that the size of the consequent jump in my own total reward in 2017 feels anomalous and has created concerns,” he wrote. Ridding said he had decided his remuneration should be restructured.
“For now, I have decided to reinvest into the FT the increase awarded in 2017, which is 510,000 pounds before tax.”
Ridding said “the first call” on the money would be a women’s development fund to boost the newspaper’s efforts to promote women to more senior roles and reduce the gender pay gap.
“The balance of funds will be used to help meet the company’s overall financial objectives,” he said.
Nikkei, which paid $1.3 billion (£1.02 billion) for the Financial Times, said the company was very satisfied with the growth of the newspaper under Ridding and his team, and the success of the FT-Nikkei partnership.
“We respect and support his proposal to adjust his remuneration to refocus attention on the FT’s mission,” it said in a statement.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Mark Potter)