TRAVEL firm Thomas Cook has said its former chief executive Harriet Green has been awarded a shares bonus worth around £5.7 million, but will donate a third to charity after the deaths of two children in Corfu.
Ms Green has been handed 4.1 million shares – the bottom end of the range to which she is entitled – after meeting financial targets during her two and a half years at the helm of the group.
She will give around £1.9 million to charity after intense scrutiny of the company’s response to the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd from carbon monoxide poisoning on the Greek island in 2006.
The charities have been chosen in consultation with the parents of Christi and Bobby, Thomas Cook said.
The group said a “substantial” donation would be made to a carbon monoxide charity to support the work of the recently launched joint initiative with Thomas Cook to fund research into protection from carbon monoxide, limit the risks associated with it and raise general awareness of the related dangers.
The parents of Christi and Bobby have “expressed their satisfaction with this outcome”, added Thomas Cook.
The parents have expressed their satisfactionThomas Cook statement
Ms Green’s pay award has attracted controversy given her role in charge of the group at the time of the tragedy.
Bobby and Christi, aged six and seven, from Horbury, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, died at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel on the holiday island in 2006 when they were overcome by fumes from a faulty boiler.
An inquest in May ruled that the children had been unlawfully killed and concluded that Thomas Cook breached its duty of care to the family. Peter Fankhauser, who succeeded Ms Green as chief executive of Thomas Cook last November, has admitted that the travel giant failed in its handling of the tragedy and pledged to help the children’s parents move on with their lives.
Thomas Cook said Ms Green’s shares bonus was based on business performance, including share price, adding that the group’s stock price rose from 16.25p to 136p during her time in charge. She could have been in line for a much bigger share award of up to 7.1 million shares under the plan.
The group announced Ms Green’s shock departure last November, although she has since been on gardening leave until her employment officially ended today. She joined the company from Leeds-based technology distributor Premier Farnell, where she was chief executive.