Tesco paid £4.1 million to new boss Dave Lewis in his first six months after he was brought in from consumer goods group Unilever to turn around the embattled supermarket chain.
Its annual report also revealed a £1.2m pay-off to former boss Philip Clarke – on top of £764,000 in salary until mid-January – but confirmed it plans to claw back the leaving payment if it finds there was gross misconduct following the discovery of an accounting black hole.
Tesco’s report showed further perks for Clarke, who can still cash in £1.14m of long-term incentive share awards and will retain his staff discount for life.
Lewis took charge last September following a series of profit warnings culminating in the departure of predecessor Clarke.
After Clarke left, Tesco discovered a £263m overstatement of expected profits in the first half of its financial year and its shares hit a 14-year low following the revelation.
Annual figures last month showed Tesco suffered one of the biggest losses in corporate history as it reported a £6.4 billion loss and warned of a tough challenge to return to profit growth this year.
Clarke was given the leaving pay-off in February despite the financial woes, while former finance director Laurie McIlwee was paid around £1m on leaving in addition to salary payments.
Tesco said: “Should it be determined in the future that there was gross misconduct the company will seek recovery of the termination payment.”