More than a fifth of WPP shareholders have refused to back Sir Martin Sorrell's £43m pay package – but that is less than this time last year.
At today's AGM 19.5 per cent of investors in the marketing and advertising giant voted against Sorrell's pay, while 2.7 per cent absented.
While that means around 22 per cent did not approve of the measure, this is in fact a drop on last year, when 28 per cent revolted.
Investors had been urged to vote against the WPP chief executive's salary – which is 37-times his base salary. The ratio of his pay to that of an average salary is 179 to one.
Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) described the reward as “excessive”, adding it was “not commensurate with the company's financial performance”.
But Sorrell rejected that, claiming his pay was for “top of the tree” performance.
His pay has been a sore point for investors over recent years. The best-paid chief executive on the FTSE 100, Sorrell earned £36m last year, on top of a short-term bonus of £3.6m and his basic salary of £1.15m.
But the controversial pay scheme Leap, which has been scrapped after 60 per cent of shareholders rebelled against his pay in 2012, still has two years to run.