It’s a perennial question on the minds of some: “Is he on the make?”. We know Trump has furiously resisted publishing his tax returns. We also learnt this week that amidst the Coronavirus crisis the Ocado CEO managed to bag £58.7m this year. Some questions at least are answered.

Although I am no celebrity, politician or PLC boss it has always been on my mind to be more ‘open by default’ with everything we do.  I DO get involved with charitable work.  For example I co-founded TeamArmy which has produced a charitable benefit of over £7m to date.  I’ve worked on other charitable initiatives and have now co-founded TeamPolice.UK. I have no issue with being more accountable than most.

It’s only right therefore, in my opinion, that people get to know what the bosses earn. Internally in Ethos everyone has been able to see each others’ income from the start via what we call a “Value Exchange Agreement” (VE). The VE records openly what each individual wants to bring and what the organisation would like them to do in terms of outcomes rather than roles or job descriptions.

Externally however we have no mechanism to do so, so I thought I would blog mine at least.

Full disclosure: from 2017 onwards none of my family have had anything to do with Ethos. When we set up Ethos 20 years ago, my wife was a shareholder and consequently some dividend income went to her between 2012-2015 but her shareholding was removed from 2016.  So it is now only me that gets any income from Ethos. No family or relatives.  What you see from my tax returns below is my TOTAL income from all sources. For the 2017-2019 tax years I have averaged less that £60k from Ethos as its CEO which I believe is moderate.   I have been able to do this as prior to 2010 I did earn a lot.  My last industrial paycheck, for example, was almost 10x this. So I managed to stash a bit away.  Going forward, one aim I have is to roughly double my current income by expanding Ethos’ model across many more joint ventures. That way my burden to them stays the same (or is even less) and I can be true to one of Ethos’ three core values which is moderation.

Hope to continue to update you in future years.

Tax Year ending Total Gross Income All Sources Total tax Paid (* = +NI)
2014 £42,737.00 £3,024.84
2015 £44,905.00 £3,490.50
2016 £26,632.00 £3,206.40
2017 £57,046.00 £16,558.00*
2018 £55,000.00 £14,797.00*
2019 £60,804.00 £17,183.00*




  • Robert Pye

    Founded Ethos in 2010 with Tony Clarke . Have been working on networked business models since the late 90's. Living a dream: playing on both sides of the fence! Institutions and networks.   Bragging rights: ‘My work is my hobby. My profession is being a father!’