TalkTalk pays CEO 2.8 million pounds in year firm hit by cyber attack

A company logo is seen on a TalkTalk building in London, Britain October 23, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - The chief executive of TalkTalk TALK.L received 2.8 million pounds ($4.1 million) in pay and share bonuses for the last 12 months, despite the telecoms company suffering a cyber attack in October that put the data of thousands of customers at risk.

Dido Harding, who received 550,000 pounds in base pay, said she would donate her 220,000 pound annual cash bonus to charity following the hack on its business.

“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.”

Nearly 2 million pounds of Harding’s payout was awarded as shares and rerelated to performance targets between 2012-2015, the broadband company said in its annual report, The 220,000 pounds was paid as a bonus for 12 months to the end of March.

Harding has been chief executive of the company since 2010.

TalkTalk said the annual bonus had been cut from 62 percent of base pay to 40 percent to reflect the cyber attack, which cost the firm as much as 80 million pounds, including one-off charges of 42 million pounds.

Some 157,000 customers were affected by the security breach, far fewer than the numbers initially feared, but the publicity caused a spike in defections, with about 100,000 customers leaving in the final quarter. ($1 = 0.6866 pounds)