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Shareholders continue to be revolted by excessive boardroom pay, this time by WPP advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrell’s 60% pay hike, which catapulted his total take-home pay to almost Ł13m last year.
The FT reports that he now faces a shareholder revolt over his pay after an influential advisory firm recommended investors in the advertising group vote against its board remuneration policies.
ISS has advised around a fifth of WPPs shareholders, according to investors. Another three top 10 shareholders, which own about 10% of the company’s shares, have said they will vote against the board’s remuneration policies at WPP’s annual meeting on June 13.
One shareholder said Sorrel’s total pay rise of 60% year was excessive. And believed around half of WPP’s shareholders would vote against Sorrell’s package.
Sorrell’s basic salary went up by 30% to Ł1.3m, while his bonus was restructured so the maximum payout rose from 300% to 500% of salary if performance targets were hit. In 2011 he received a bonus equivalent to 385% of salary for 2011, or Ł5m, bringing the total pay award to Ł6.8m.
Sorrell’s remuneration includes pension contributions, deferred share bonuses and other long-term incentives granted in previous years but vesting in 2011. It means his total take-home pay reached almost Ł13m last year.
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