Vodafone’s shareholder spring fizzles out as CEO’s pay backed

SHAREHOLDERS in Vodafone overwhelmingly voted to back chief executive Vittorio Colao’s pay package at yesterday’s annual meeting, despite warnings of an investor rebellion.

Colao’s remuneration package, which has more than doubled in the last year to £14m, was supported by 96 per cent of investors, despite advisory body Pirc urging them to oppose it.

Vodafone’s shareholders, who were the FTSE’s best repaid last year, backed all motions, but did call for extra dividends from Vodafone’s 45 per cent stake in US mobile operator Verizon Wireless.

Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee admitted tensions between the two companies, citing “very difficult discussions” with Verizon, but said he hoped for a dividend soon. Kleisterlee also raised the possibility of making new acquisitions in Indonesia.