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A third of Burberry shareholders reject executive pay deals

One-third of Burberry shareholders have rejected pay deals for the company’s president Christopher Bailey, and chief operating and finance officer Julie Brown at its annual general meeting today.

More than 32% of investors have voted against the remuneration report. 

Chairman John Peace defended the pay packages, saying: “My job is to work with the board and remuneration committee to do what’s right for the longer term. My job is to get the best we can for the company and I think in Julie we have an absolute star.”

Bailey’s total remuneration last year rose from £1.9m to £3.5m. He waived his annual bonus but received £1.4m from an award of shares from a 2014 plan.

Brown was paid £4.7m between January and March 2017 and received £4m in shares and £550,000 in cash. However, she later waived £2.4m of her remuneration package- £1.6m of this related to ESPs granted by Burberry, and a further £800,000 related to her buyout from Smith & Nephew. 

In a statement Burberry said: “The board took proactive measures to address concerns around the 2016/17 remuneration report following its publication.

“With the interests of shareholders and the company in mind, and with the support of Julie Brown, on 26 June 2017 we announced her decision to waive a portion of her buyout award and 75% of her 2016/17 EPS [earnings per share] award. We also provided additional information on the assessment of performance for Christopher Bailey’s 2014 exceptional performance-based share award on our website.”

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