We are dismayed to see a publication called “The Economist” portraying shareholder objections to excessive CEO compensation as “bolshie.” Surely, it is the ultimate expression of capitalism, which is, after all, named after the providers of capital, not those who manage and spend it.
FAT cats and big bonuses routinely stoke public anger. Now shareholders are pig-wrestling mad. On April 14th investors in BP rejected a pay rise for Bob Dudley, the oil firm’s boss, furious that he had got a 20% bump in his compensation last year (pension included) for overseeing the company’s biggest-ever operating loss. “Let me be clear,” soothed Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP’s chairman. “We hear you.”
The article goes on to say “BP’s shareholders are not the only ones being bolshie” and referring to the fiduciary exercise of the proxy voting franchise as “belches of discontent.”
They are correct that the vote is advisory only and that even these mild expressions of discontent are unusual. But it is important to note that they are also increasing in frequency and volume. To paraphrase an American revolutionary, editors of The Economist, if this be bolshie, make the most of it.
Source: Pay dirt | The Economist