5-speed listening (Level 6)

Burberry shareholders rebel against CEO pay



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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Shareholders from the British fashion house Burberry are up in arms about a proposed pay package for its CEO. They rejected a resolution at the company's annual general meeting to provide newly-appointed CEO Christopher Bailey with a multi-million-dollar remuneration deal. The vote was 52.7 per cent against the resolution. Executives proposed to hand Mr Bailey a $12.3 million "golden hello", an annual salary of up to $17 million and shares worth up to $33 million by 2018. The share package has been called a "golden handcuffs" arrangement to stop him from joining a rival company in the next few years. He will also receive add-ons for pensions and performance bonuses.

Burberry chairman Sir John Peace defended the package. He said he was "disappointed" and would talk to shareholders. He said: "I want to understand why they felt so strongly to vote against." He said the packages for Bailey and his predecessor Angela Ahrendts were to keep "world-class executives" at the company. Under Ms Ahrendts' guidance between 2006 and 2014, the company's sales increased to over $3.4 billion, and shares gained more than threefold to $12 billion. Peace pointed out that many companies around the world would be willing to pay Mr Bailey a lot more. He added that Bailey was "worth every penny". Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 as Design Director and became Creative Director in 2004.

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