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Even with a forty percent salary cut for CEO Bob Dudley last year, the British Petroleum head remains the highest paid amongst European oil bosses, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
This year, Dudley is on track to receive $11.6 million in salary and benefits – a package that surpasses Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden’s compensation, which is the second-highest on the continent, by $2.5 million.
BP also recently reduced the cap on Dudley’s maximum earnings over the next three years, in light of tough times for global energy markets. The move was an effort to appease shareholders, who voted against the CEO’s scheduled pay hike two years ago.
The BP chief’s salary jumped by 20 percent to $19.6 million in 2015. That same year BP reported a record loss of $6.4 billion and laid off more than 5,000 workers. Shareholders opposed the salary increase because it came off as unseemly and disconnected from the company’s negative performance.
"We consider the pay of the CEO to be simply too high, and particularly so in a year when the company suffered a record loss of $6.4 billion in 2015. Even so his pay went up by 20 percent," wrote shareholder advisory group ShareSoc, pressings its members to vote against the company’s proposed salaries.
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Similarly, Van Beurden’s 2015 pay package, including pension and tax equalization of US$6.1 million, also faced resistance from shareholders.
In addition to a salary, BP and other top executives receive a pension, with the company paying around 35 percent of their salaries, another area of concern for shareholder groups.
BP has been hard hit by the downturn in oil prices and the costs stemming from the catastrophic oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…