Business Irish

Sunday 21 January 2018

Ex-Paddy Power boss takes pay cut in new job as CEO

Former Paddy Power boss Andy McCue
Former Paddy Power boss Andy McCue
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Former Paddy Power boss Andy McCue has taken a major pay cut since leaving Paddy Power after he started his new job yesterday.

Mr McCue spent 10 years at the betting giant before taking up his new role as chief executive of UK-based Restaurant Group.

He left Paddy Power less than two months after it merged with Betfair. Then Betfair ceo Breon Corcoran took the reigns at the newly formed entity, while Mr McCue was named chief operations officer.

In his new role Mr McCue will take home £505,000 (€590,000) for his base salary and is entitled to earn a maximum annual bonus of 150pc of his salary, 50pc of which are deferred into shares for three years.

As part of his new deal Mr McCue can earn even more through a long-term incentive plan (LTIP).

While the details of the LTIP remain unclear, should he meet the targets of the plan he may be awarded double his salary.

In his final year as chief executive of Paddy Power he took home €3.7m as his total remuneration, made up in part by his basic salary of €700,000.

The remainder of the sum was made up through benefits, pension payments, his annual bonus, and his LTIP.

The Cambridge University graduate also sits on the board of Irish-headquartered Hostelworld, where he has been a non-executive director for just under a year.

His appointment to Restaurant Group was announced in August. Mr McCue has replaced former chief executive Danny Breithaupt who was reportedly ousted from the firm.

Restaurant Group reportedly got rid of Mr Breithaupt after 15 years at the company, two of which as ceo.

The group's chairman, Debbie Hewitt, said that Mr Breithaupt has participated fully in a review of its operating strategy.

"We have agreed that this is an appropriate point for him to hand over to a new leader who will implement the initial actions and set the priorities for this next phase of development for the business. We wish him well for the future," Ms Hewitt said in August.

Mr McCue is heading up a company that has seen its share price fall by as much as 45pc this year.

The firm, which owns the likes of the Frankie and Benny's and Chiquito chains, has faced increased competition from food-led pubs and other branded restaurant chains.

Ms Hewitt believes Mr McCue's brand background will help turn the company around.

"Andy brings strong consumer, people and brand-led ceo credentials, with very relevant experience from a multi-site business," she said.

"His extensive strategic background, coupled with a strong commercial flair, proven hands-on operational expertise and digital credentials, will bring considerable strength and new skills to the leadership of our executive team,."

Paddy Power Betfair has gone through a mixed spell in the past few months, including a calamitous Cheltenham festival in which punters took home a net profit of £20m.

In May the betting giant held its first AGM where almost a third of shareholders voted against the company's executive remuneration report due to concerns around the bonus scheme.

Paddy Power Betfair slumped to a £47.5m loss in the six months to the end of June, taking on board major merger costs. The costs amounted to around £195m.

Irish Independent

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