Premier director to get £450,000 pay-off

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The Independent Online

The finance director of Premier Oil quit yesterday with a pay-off worth up to £450,000 after he was beaten to the job of chief executive by a fellow director.

The finance director of Premier Oil quit yesterday with a pay-off worth up to £450,000 after he was beaten to the job of chief executive by a fellow director.

John van der Welle will leave Premier in June but will still pick up one year's salary worth £225,000 and a bonus payment worth the same again. His pay-off is the latest in a line of deals where departing executives have been handsomely rewarded even though they have resigned of their own accord.

A spokesman for Premier said it was felt that Mr van der Welle deserved some financial recognition for helping to improve the company's fortunes since his arrival six years ago.

"The payment may seem a little odd but he played such a big role in turning the company around," the spokesman added.

Mr van der Welle was one of the two internal candidates to take over as chief executive from Charles Jamieson following his retirement this year. In the end, the job went to Premier's former operations director Simon Lockett.

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