Amid Outcry, Mega Chairman Gives Controversial Bonus to Workers

Avigdor Kaplan defends payout as coming from parent company's shareholders: 'I didn’t get compensation of any kind from Mega for my role as its active chairman.'

Avigdor Kaplan, CEO of Alon Blue Square group that owns supermarket chain Mega walks away from the bankrupt store with a bonus of over half a million shekel.
Amos Biderman

Avigdor Kaplan, chairman of the indebted Mega supermarket chain, surrendered to public pressure Thursday and announced he would hand over a 480,000-shekel ($120,800) bonus he had received to the supermarket’s employees.

“I will give the check in the amount I received as a bonus to the chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, who will know how best to use the money for the good of [Mega] employees,” Kaplan said.

Ofer Vaknin

Kaplan, who also served as chairman of Mega’s parent company – publicly traded Alon Blue Square – had been awarded the money in a contract he signed when he took over management of the financially troubled group. It awarded the equivalent of six monthly salaries after a year on the job.

Kaplan defended the payout Thursday, saying it didn’t come from Mega or Alon Blue Square, but from Alon Israel – the closely held parent company that controls Alon Blue Square.

“The bonus I was given by Alon Israel was set and approved by its board and paid by it,” he said. “I didn’t get compensation of any kind from Mega for my role as its active chairman.”