Cook investors revolt over chiefs' pay

Cook investors revolt over chiefs' pay

Almost a third of investors in Thomas Cook have protested against the travel group’s executive pay.

Around 29.7% of investors voted against the travel group's remuneration report at its annual meeting in London yesterday.

This was described by the Daily Telegraph as the biggest investor rebellion so far this year.

The vote came despite Cook announcing that its turnaround plan was going to schedule as losses narrowed to £69.8 million in the last three months of 2012, compared with £91.1 million a year earlier.

The investor protest was based on the pay packages handed to new chief executive Harriet Green and other directors.

Green could receive a pay package worth nearly £3 million this year, bolstered by one-off payments to compensate her for rewards lost when she left her previous employer, electronics group Premier Farnell.

The maximum bonus threshold for her first year as chief executive has been set at 225% of her £680,000 base salary to incentivise her to reach “significant stretch targets” under the company’s transformation plan.

The maximum bonus threshold will reduce to 150% after September 30.

Cook said: “As the board has previously made clear, its over-riding objective in making remuneration decisions last year was to secure a top-quality chief executive and chief financial officer and to incentivise them to drive the transformation of the company and rebuild shareholder value. The board's guiding principle is to ensure that pay reflects performance, and that we do not pay for non-performance.

“The board believes that the progress made by the company under the new leadership team and the very substantial shareholder value generated over the past six months fully justifies the remuneration decisions, which have benefited all investors.”

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