Vodafone pays its chief executive an eye-watering £14m for hitting targets

Vodafone's chief executive, Vittorio Colao, will pull in a pay package totalling £14m for 2012, inevitably risking fresh criticisms over executive pay.

The bumper package is mostly made up of £11m of shares under its so-called Group Long Term Incentive Plan award scheme. That scheme paid out£3.75m a year earlier.

News of his vast deal, which emerged last night, provoked yet more public concern about the inflated pay in Britain's boardrooms. However, Vodafone argues that he hit his targetsand steered the companythrough extremely toughmarket conditions.

Unlike some other companies awarding bumper executive pay, Vodafone appeared to have gained the approval of its biggest investors before issuing its pay report. It argues that it keeps shareholders sweet by being the biggest dividend payer in the FTSE-100 Index.

The GLTI payment, made in Vodafone shares, was so vast that Mr Colao has agreed not to cash them in for two years. It came on top of £3m in bonus, pay and pension payments.

Vodafone's £85bn stock market value makes it bigger than Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Telefonica, the owners of T-Mobile, Orange and O2, combined.

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