May 11, 2021

AstraZeneca suffers investor rebellion over pay

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot has suffered a shareholder rebellion on pay after the drugmaker significantly increased his potential bonus for the second year in a row. About 40 per cent of votes that were cast at the company's annual general meeting went against the pay rise, with 60 per cent supporting the company's pay policy. Soriot will now be eligible for a bonus of up to 250 per cent of his base salary, up from 200 per cent, and long-term share awards worth up to 650 per cent of his base, up from 550 per cent. Advisory groups Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and PIRC recommended shareholders reject the proposal, arguing that there was no reason to significantly increase variable pay again. Shareholders approved AstraZeneca's $39bn takeover of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a US biotechnology group, with over 99 per cent of votes cast in favour of the deal.

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