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TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding pockets £2.8m

But gives bonus to charity

Dido Harding, the chief exec of beleaguered firm TalkTalk, was handed £2.8m in salary this year, despite the company suffering a catastrophic cyber attack last year.

The payout included base salary, shares and cash – the latter being related to performance targets between 2012-2015, the biz said in its annual report today.

Harding's remuneration is made up of her base salary of £550,000 (which remains unchanged in for the year) and the £1.9m long term incentive plan, which was awarded at the end of the previous financial year.

Nearly 157,000 customers were affected by the cyber attack last year. That had a direct impact on TalkTalk's bottom line, with profits plunging by 56 per cent for its full-year 2016 to a mere £14m.

The firm has been subject to a series of breaches with some customers continuing to report they are the victim of scammers.

TalkTalk said it is "now implementing an extensive programme of cultural change, including behaviours, values and ways of working".

Harding said she would donate her £220,000 cash bonus (the rest of the bonus is shares) to charity following the attack.

She said: "Throughout the cyber attack, we worked hard to put our customers first, and we know that they have appreciated our efforts and our honesty throughout," Harding said on Monday.

"Nevertheless, last October was a challenging period for TalkTalk and its customers and, in recognition of that, I have made a personal decision to donate my bonus to our charity partner, Ambitious About Autism."

A Parliamentary report into cyber security, also published today, singled out the data breaches at Talk Talk.

It recommended that chief executive compensation be directly linked effective cyber security practices. ®

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