BSkyB shareholders revolt over executives’ remuneration

Investors complain about ‘lack of visibility’ around bonus scheme for directors

BSkyB suffered its biggest revolt on pay in years as 37 per cent of independent shareholders who voted were against the remuneration report.

A total of 22.6 per cent of all Sky investors opposed the pay for chief executive Jeremy Darroch and chief financial officer Andrew Griffith – a significant rebellion by City standards.

Critics had complained about a “lack of visibility” around the bonus scheme for the directors, led by Mr Darroch, who earned more than £7m, including a short-term cash bonus of £2m and £4m in share awards in the year to June.

The result at the annual meeting in Edinburgh will be a blow to top shareholder Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, which controls just over 39 per cent of the shares. However, his son James, who had to resign as chairman of Sky in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, got a boost as he was easily re-elected as a non-executive director with 96 per cent support.

The vote on remuneration was the worst that Sky has suffered since at least 2005 as shareholder watchdogs including America’s ISS and Britain’s Pirc urged investors to vote against.

A total of 77.4 per cent of all Sky shareholders who voted were in favour of the remuneration report. But, leaving aside the Fox stake, just  63 per cent of independent shareholders who voted were in favour. Only a very small number of investors abstained. Last year, 88.6 per cent voted in favour of the remuneration report and 11.4 per cent opposed, but there were almost as many abstensions as votes against.

A source close to Sky suggested that some of those who abstained a year ago may have switched to a vote against this year, partly because that was how ISS changed its recommendation.

ISS had complained ahead of today’s vote about “the lack of visibility” around the targets for both annual and long-term bonus schemes – “particularly as there is no retrospective disclosure on these targets for awards that vested this year”. Pirc, known for its highly critical views, claimed bonus awards looked “highly excessive on a potential basis” and the long-term incentive plan (LTIP) lacked an upper limit.

“Based on share price at grant date, the CEO received a combined award under the bonus scheme, the LTIP and the Co-Investment Plan representing approximately eight times his base salary and the CFO received awards equalling approximately 6 times salary,” said Pirc, which also opposed the re-election of James Murdoch.

Sky insisted the rewards were based on strong performance, after a 9 per cent rise in operating profit and 7 per cent rise in turnover.

A spokesman added: “We recognise there can be a difference of views but our policy is working well in support of our overall strategy. The performance of the business is excellent and we are delivering strongly for shareholders.”

The company said it did not offer more visibility about bonus targets because it was commercially sensitive. Danny Rimer, the internet entrepreneur who chaired Sky’s remuneration committee, resigned the role yesterday in a pre-planned move. Standard Chartered banker Tracey Clarke has taken the job.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

Test Manager - Banking - Yorkshire - £450 per day

£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone