Another CEO Quits After Shareholders Balk At Huge Pay

Aviva insurance CEO resignLONDON -- The chief executive of Aviva, Britain's largest insurer, has resigned following a shareholder revolt over executive pay, the company said Tuesday.

The company gave no explanation for the decision by Andrew Moss, who had been CEO since 2007, to step down a week after shareholders voted against the company's decisions on executive pay and bonuses. At Aviva's annual general meeting a week ago, 823 million votes were recorded against the pay plan, or remuneration report, compared to 670 million in favor. Another 152 million votes abstained.

Shareholders were unhappy at a 33 percent drop in the value of shares in the last year.

Aviva shares were up 4.9 percent at 317 pence in early trading in London.

"We suspect that the latest batch of negative headlines over the Remuneration Report at the AGM was the last straw and Moss had to go," said Barrie Cornes, analyst at Panmure Gordon & Co. "Few will shed any tears given his handling of the business over the last few years which have seen the shares massively underperform the sector."

Aviva said its chairman-designate, John McFarlane, would step in as interim CEO and "will immediately assume the task of improving the delivery of shareholder value by the group."

"He does not underestimate the significance of the challenge but is optimistic of the right result," Aviva said.

In recent weeks, David Brennan has announced his resignation as CEO of drug maker AstraZeneca and Sly Bailey has decided to leave newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror at the end of the year. Both companies have disappointed investors with declining share prices - down 15 percent in a year at AstraZeneca and 39 percent at Trinity Mirror.

Barclays was also stung by a drop in shareholder support for the bank's executive compensation. Seventy-three percent of the vote supported Barclays' plan, down from 90 percent a year earlier.

Chief Executive Bob Diamond was awarded pay, bonus and deferred shares worth 17.7 million pounds ($28.7 million at the current exchange rate) for 2011, a year in which the chief executive said the bank's performance was "unacceptable."

Before Barclays' annual general meeting, the bank announced that a chunk of the bonuses to Diamond and Finance Director Chris Lucas would only be paid out if certain earnings targets are achieved. Diamond stands to lose 1.35 million pounds ($2.17 million) and Lucas 900,000 pounds if they miss the target.

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Haha don't let the door hit you on the way out!

May 09 2012 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Having the CEO title on your resume is like having a membership in the old boys club. He will find another CEO position in a heartbeat. Even if he doesn't know what the company makes or how they make it. Just like the CEO of the Fast Signs company shown on Undercover Boss last week, She had NO CLUE how to do any of the work her employees did, But she thinks she knew it all.

May 09 2012 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1. There is not a CEO on this planet who "Earns" aka "Deserves" more than 200,000.00 per year in compensation. At the very least, superior performance should be the only determining factor for a CEO "Earning" superior pay. 2. For every CEO dissatisfied with his compensation, there are at least a dozen equally or better qualified individuals who would gladly accept his position without question for the salary offered, which would result in higher dividends for shareholders or the ability to expand or hire additional workers. 3. A "Bonus" should be a reward for performance above and beyond the scope of one's day to day routine duties and NOT an automatic "entitlement" he/she receives simply because they feel it is owed to them for doing nothing above their normal duties. In other words, CEO's and all excutives should be required to "Earn" their positions, bonuses, and salaries just like the rest of us on this planet.

May 08 2012 at 11:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gwinloz's comment

...and at which university do you teach?

May 09 2012 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ALL companies should follow suit!

May 08 2012 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Scumbag ceos are only good at SPENDING others do the EARNING

May 08 2012 at 8:17 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The shareholders would GET their money if the companies didn't pay the CEO's such high salaries. Pay the employees decent salaries, then pay the shareholders their money. The average salary for most employees (for a company such as this) is less than 30k a year, and this guy gets 28 million. How in the world can they justify the vast difference in salaries?

May 08 2012 at 6:07 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Good for him that he left the company I hope there is no Golden Parachut. I'm sure he has a few pounds in the Bank.

May 08 2012 at 5:15 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Diamond got $28.7 million at Barclays in 2011 and sucked at it? Hell, I'll do it for half of that AND pay my own relocation to the UK to boot! I look great in a suit and tie so I can't do any worse.

May 08 2012 at 5:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mikersales's comment

I agree. Even a pig looks good in a suit.

May 09 2012 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Corporate America opened that can of worms when they started paying CEO's exorbitant salaries but then also claimed they had to lay off workers due to low revenue. The notion that one person at the top is credited with all that is accomplished at a company has to stop or if not our country and our national security will be decimated. We can't lead the word with a country full of entrepreneurs only as we need scientist, engineers, factories, and industrialized jobs here in the USA in order to be self reliant.

May 08 2012 at 5:04 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to purehawk1's comment

POTUS killed Osama

May 08 2012 at 7:04 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

What a pompous a$$

May 08 2012 at 3:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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