AstraZeneca chiefs get a bloody nose as shareholders rebel against high pay packets

Oliver Gill
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AstraZeneca chief exec Pascal Soriot received a total of £13.4m in 2016 (Source: Getty)

The board of AstraZeneca was left with a bloody nose after nearly 40 per cent of voting shareholders opposed the company's executive pay packets.

The non-binding vote on the pharma giant's remuneration report was taken at its AGM on Thursday and represents one of the largest revolts against a UK firm so far this year.

However, while 38.83 per cent of voting shareholders opposed the 2016 pay report, less than four per cent voted against the directors' remuneration policy; in other words, how their pay will be calculated in years to come.

Read more: Jam tomorrow? AstraZeneca says it won't be the case in 2017

Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca's chief executive, received £13.4m in total during 2016. His pay packet, constituting salary, bonus, long-term incentives and other benefits, was 68 per cent higher than the previous year.

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca told Bloomberg the pharmaceutical giant had made changes to its long-term incentive programme based on shareholder feedback, and had also consulted investors about its pay policy more broadly.

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