Ocado faced a backlash from investors at its annual meeting over huge bonuses awarded to its boss Tim Steiner and other top executives.
Almost a third of its shareholders voted against the remuneration report, including BlackRock and Royal London Asset Management, on Wednesday.
Bonuses totalled £88m for its top brass, including a £54m award for Mr Steiner.
Ocado handed shares to its senior managers in 2014 under a five-year “growth incentive plan” pegged to its share price.
As well as flogging groceries, the company also sells its software and robots to other supermarket chains across the world. A string of international deals in recent years has boosted the share price and therefore bonuses.
Mr Steiner, one of Ocado’s founding directors, raked in one of the largest paydays for a listed UK business. Finance chief Duncan Tatton-Brown and chief operating officer Mark Richardson each bagged £14m from the scheme. Luke Jensen, who runs its tech business, received £6m.
Ashley Hamilton Claxton at Royal London Asset Management said Ocado’s pay report was an example of how poorly designed incentive plans can lead to excessive pay for executives.
Ocado unveiled a new value creation plan last year, which was opposed by nearly a quarter of its shareholders.
A spokesperson for BlackRock said: "Given our concerns about the suitability of these awards, taking into account both their structure and their size, we did not approve the remuneration report."
Andrew Harrison, chairman of the remuneration committee, defended the payouts arguing it was a one-off bonus plan and reflected outstanding rewards for shareholders.
The vote came after Ocado said that sales soared as shoppers flocked to its website during the cornavirus lockdown.
The online retailer said it quickly ramped up capacity to meet unprecedented demand and was now delivering significantly more groceries to households than ever before.
Revenues were up 40.4pc in the second quarter, which began in March, compared to the same period last year. The increase was far higher than the 10pc rise in the three months to the end of February.
Last week, Kantar predicted Ocado's sales would rise by just 20pc for the period.
However, the retailer suspended its guidance, adding that the pandemic has made it impossible to predict short-term sales trends.
Analysts at Peel Hunt said the sales boost had been achieved through its “mature warehouses running at their peak and at their best ever efficiencies”.
Shares rose 5.6pc to £17.72. The stock began the year at £12.59.
Marks & Spencer bought half of its online grocery business last year and its products will replace Waitrose items in September on Ocado’s website.
Stuart Rose, the chairman of Ocado, said this week: “Ocado recognises the sensitivities around executive pay and places great emphasis on ensuring its executive remuneration is closely tied to creating value for shareholders and our broader stakeholders.
“The scheme in question was created in 2014 and vested in full in May 2019. The award reflects outstanding performance over a five year period during which £7.5bn of value was created for Ocado shareholders.
“The remuneration committee is satisfied that Ocado’s pay schemes past and present, all of which have already been approved by shareholders, deliver above-market pay-outs only for outstanding results.”