EasyJet faces shareholder row over pay

SHAREHOLDERS in easyJet have been urged to vote down the remuneration report at the airline group’s annual meeting next week by the investor advisory group Pirc.

Pirc, which tends to take a tough line on executive pay, argues that various changes have been made to the airline company’s long term incentive programme without shareholder approval.

It says the group’s new plan lacks a comparator group.

Outgoing chief executive Andrew Harrison is set to receive a £2.7m pay-off which includes a £1.22m retention bonus which Pirc considers excessive. Last year Harrison received a pay package of £1.6m, which includes a £1m plus bonus.

Company insiders defend the award, saying it was important for the airline to retain Harrison’s services for as long as it did. Harrison said last month he would leave the airline after four years in charge.

“The group’s been one of the best performing airlines,” said an insider yesterday. The group is confident it will gain approval for the main votes at its meeting.

The more influential Association of British Insurers has yet to oppose any of the motions.