Hollick bows to pressure and gives up bonus

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The Independent Online

Lord Hollick, the former chief executive of United Business Media, has had a last-minute change of heart over accepting a £250,000 special bonus from the company following a massive shareholder revolt.

Lord Hollick, the former chief executive of United Business Media, has had a last-minute change of heart over accepting a £250,000 special bonus from the company following a massive shareholder revolt.

At UBM's annual meeting, an unprecedented 76 per cent of shareholders voted against the company's remuneration report, in protest at the £250,000 fee that Lord Hollick had been promised by UBM for a "successful handover" to the new chief executive, David Levin, who took up the position on 5 April.

At the AGM on Thursday, the company and Lord Hollick insisted he would take the money and was about to receive the cash. The Labour peer said at the time that he had "earned" it, pointing to the recent sale of UBM's market research business NOP for £383m, saying this meant he was "going out on a high note".

Lord Hollick and UBM were condemned by shareholder groups for ignoring the vote, which was not binding on the company. UBM said it was contractually bound to make the payment.

However, it was announced yesterday that, after reflecting on the matter over the weekend, Lord Hollick had decided to forego the cash. It is understood that he still feels that he deserves it but was "uncomfortable" that so many investors voted against it.

Geoff Unwin, UBM's chairman, said: "While the results of the vote stands, both the company and the individual have recognised the views of shareholders. The board welcomes Clive's decision."

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