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C&W bosses in line for massive payday

Fat cats to lap-up CWeam

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Bosses at Cable & Wireless (C&W) could be in line for fat cat salaries if a new bonus package worth up to £220m gets the go-ahead.

C&W wants to give big payouts to some 60 senior execs if they can turn the under-par telco around. The Sunday Times reports that chairman Richard Lapthorne has already written to shareholders seeking their approval for the scheme.

In his letter to investors, Lapthorne said the new incentive package would "provide a clearer link between the performance and reward for the executive".

If C&W hits its targets, UK boss John Pluthero could net £22m over the next four years while other senior execs could also be in line for big multi-million payouts.

In return, one of the goals execs will need to hit is to ensure that the share price more than doubles from its current level of around 100p.

News of the new pay packages comes just a few months after C&W announced plans to axe half its workforce - up to 3,500 jobs - and ditch thousands of customers.

In an email to employees just before the cuts were announced, Pluthero told staff that the business was in "bad shape": "Congratulations, we work for an underperforming business in a crappy industry and it's going to be hell for the next 12 months."

If employees aren't up for the fight, he went on, then they may as well "step off the bus". "This is no longer a place for the timid," he said. ®

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