Shareholders' CEO pay complaints welcomed

May 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

LONDON, May 7 (UPI) -- British Business Secretary Vince Cable said he welcomed shareholder challenges to excessive pay for company executives.

Cable said shareholders taking responsibility for communicating their opinions on pay to company board members was "exactly the way to deal with this issue."

Shareholders in Britain are poised to challenge excessive executive pay at a number of companies, following similar revolts at Barclays, Aviva and Trinity Mirror, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

At bookmaking firm William Hill, shareholders are objecting to Chief Executive Officer Ralph Topping's $1.9 million retention bonus, which company Chairman Gareth Davis defended as "quid pro quo."

Advertising firm WPP has been put on the defensive concerning a $21 million pay package for CEO Marten Sorrell.

"If Britain wants world leaders like WPP, or more WPP-like companies, there has to be recognition of pay for performance and the global competitive position. Otherwise we will be relegated to the second division," said a company spokesman.

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