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Reckitt Benckiser boss nets bumper pay package despite shareholder unease

Published 05/05/2016

Reckitt Benckiser chief executive Rakesh Kapoor has netted a bumper pay packet
Reckitt Benckiser chief executive Rakesh Kapoor has netted a bumper pay packet

The boss at Cillit Bang owner Reckitt Benckiser survived a shareholder revolt as investors passed his £23 million pay package at the consumer giant's annual meeting.

The meeting saw 82.3% of Reckitt shareholders pass chief executive Rakesh Kapoor's 2015 pay package, which had jumped from £12.8 million the year before at the Nurofen-to-Vanish group.

Mr Kapoor saw his stock-related payouts more than double to £18.2 million compared with the year before, after the share price of the business lifted by more than 80% over the last four years.

The vote comes amid rising shareholder concern over high executive payouts that are divorced from company performance.

In recent weeks, almost 60% of BP shareholers voted against boss Bob Dudley's £14 million payout - despite the oil major earlier posting an annual loss of 5.2 billion US dollars (£3.6 billion), its biggest reversal in at least 20 years.

Also, 72% of Weir Group investors voted against the directors pay at the the Glasgow-based engineering firm after a disappointing year.

The average annual pay for a FTSE 100 chief executive is about £5 million, according to research body the High Pay Centre.

However, Slough-based Reckitt said: ''Our performance-linked remuneration package is underpinned by a meaningful share ownership policy, which drives a culture of ownership throughout the company.''

Meanwhile, shareholders in bookmaker Ladbrokes made known their frustration at a termination arrangement with Ian Bull, the former chief financial officer, who stands to net up to £599,999 as part of a performance share plan.

The remuneration report was rejected by 42.08% of shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday.

Ladbrokes said it "understands the concerns expressed by some shareholders", adding: "The board is very aware of shareholder observations and these will play a key part in the board's thinking as remuneration is considered for the business going forward."

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