Whitbread restaurant division chief Bill Shannon has walked away with a £750,000 pay-off after losing out to hotels boss Alan Parker in the race to succeed chief executive David Thomas. That is twice Shannon's annual salary. Thomas, who retires at this week's annual meeting, earned £1.4million with a pension of £744,000. Whitbread, which owns the Marriott hotel chain and David Lloyd fitness clubs, is bowing to shareholder pressure to reduce long-service contracts that pay out regardless of performance. The Mail on Sunday 13/06/04 (Financial Mail) page 6