Former TalkTalk boss Dido Harding rings up £1.1m package

TalkTalk has said former boss Dido Harding earned £1.1 million in annual pay and bonuses weeks after the telecoms giant warned over profits.

Dido Harding stepped down as TalkTalk chief on 1 April. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The group’s annual report shows Harding, who stepped down on 1 April, was handed a 9 per cent pay rise to £600,000 last July, while she was also awarded a £235,000 annual bonus and £244,000 in shares from a long-term incentive plan.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Details of her bumper final year’s pay come after TalkTalk shares were rocked last month – falling 8 per cent in one day – after it posted a lower-than-expected rise in annual profits and warned over the next year’s results.

The group slashed investor dividend payouts and flagged that full-year earnings in 2017-18 would come in up to 11 per cent lower, as it embarks on an investment drive to attract more customers.

Results also showed annual earnings for 2016-17 fell short of expectations despite having grown by 17 per cent to £304m.

The group is still recovering after a cyber attack in 2015 saw the personal data of nearly 160,000 people accessed by hackers. It led to tens of thousands of customers deserting the firm and cost it £60m.

Harding decided last year to donate her annual bonus to charity after the attack, although it is understood she opted to retain the 2016-17 bonus.

All executive directors received annual bonuses for the year to end-March, while most were also awarded long-term incentive scheme shares payouts.

In its annual report, the group’s remuneration committee said directors had volunteered a discount of around 30 per cent on their annual bonuses.