Almost 58% of shareholders at General Electric voted against the US industrial conglomerate’s executive pay plan, which included a potential $230m for chief executive Larry Culp, says the Financial Times. Not only was Culp’s contract extended last year during the pandemic, but the board also lowered the stock price at which Culp would start earning bonus shares and almost doubled the amount of stock he would receive. As the stock “roared” back, Culp locked in $47m, with up to $230m vesting from 2024.
Mining giant Rio Tinto suffered a rare shareholder backlash when 61% of investors rejected the company’s pay policy, worth $55m in salaries and bonuses for the company’s top 14 executives, in a non-binding vote, says BBC News. However, the most contentious aspect of the pay plan was the $10m bonus for outgoing boss Jean- Sébastien Jacques. Last May, Rio Tinto destroyed sacred Aboriginal sites in Australia, leading to a public outcry and resignations, including the CEO and chairman.
Defence and aerospace contractor BAE Systems changed the terms of its bonus scheme so that its CEO, Charles Woodburn, could be handed a £2m “golden handcuffs” deal after Woodburn was approached to join Rio Tinto, says The Times. Woodburn also received a 13% pay rise over two years, taking his basic salary to £1.1m. Last year, Woodburn earned a total of £6m, up from £3.7m in 2019.
Kris Paterson is a writer for WhatJobs.com.