Home » South African exec Mark Blair faces pay cut as Mr. Price misses financial goals

South African exec Mark Blair faces pay cut as Mr. Price misses financial goals

by Omokolade Ajayi
Mark Blair

In a year marked by financial challenges and shifting corporate landscapes, Mark Blair, the South African executive who has led Mr. Price Group Limited since 2006, experienced a significant decline in his remuneration.

According to the group’s 2023 remuneration report, released at the close of the fiscal year on April 1, 2023, Blair’s total remuneration saw a sharp drop of over $2.4 million compared to the previous year.

His total remuneration plummeted from R56.52 million ($3 million) in 2022 to a modest R10.67 million ($565,104) in the 2023 fiscal year.

This staggering 81.13-percent decline in remuneration has drawn attention to the alignment of executive compensation with a company’s financial performance in today’s business world.

Executive compensation dips as company misses financial targets

The decline in Blair’s remuneration is primarily attributed to the company’s inability to meet its financial objectives for the year, underscoring the priority placed on the performance of top executives.

During the group’s 2023 fiscal year, Blair received a base salary of R6.78 million ($360,000) with no performance-based short-term incentive, serving as a reminder of the dynamic nature of executive compensation, which fluctuates in tandem with the financial performance of companies.

Despite the notable decline in salary, Blair remains a respected figure in the South African retail industry. He has delivered strong results at the helm amid challenging conditions, particularly in 2020 and 2021, when the retail industry in South Africa grappled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and civil unrest.

Mr. Price’s financial performance under Mark Blair

Under Blair’s leadership, Mr. Price’s total assets and liabilities have experienced substantial growth, increasing from R10.12 billion ($604.5 million) and R2.66 billion ($159 million) in 2018 to R28.78 billion ($1.52 billion) and R14.85 billion ($785.57 million) in 2023, respectively.

However, during the 2023 fiscal year, the group reported a 3.62-percent decline in profit, decreasing from R3.35 billion ($176.79 million) to R3.20 billion ($170.40 million) compared to the 26.4 percent increase in earnings at the end of the 2022 fiscal year.

The decline in Blair’s remuneration underscores the complex relationship between executive compensation and a company’s financial performance, leaving stakeholders to consider the evolving landscape of corporate priorities and expectations in the executive suite.

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