Bob Dudley, the top boss of BP, faced a shareholder revolt on Thursday over a vast pay rise despite heavy losses and job cuts at the British oil major.
Dudley’s pay package -- including salary, bonus, shares and pension -- increased by a fifth to £13.8 million (17.3 million euros, $19.5 million) in 2015 compared with the previous year.
The London-listed energy group -- which holds its annual general meeting in the British capital on Thursday -- clocked a vast net loss of $6.5 billion (5.7 billion euros) last year following a collapse of oil prices.
Any shareholder vote on Dudley’s pay at the AGM would however be non-binding.
The Institute of Directors (IoD), a business think tank and lobby group, said the pay hike could send the “wrong message” to other companies.
“If his pay deal is approved, but with a significant minority voting against, the BP board must explain how it will engage with this group of shareholders -- they cannot and should not be ignored,” IoD director Simon Walker said ahead of the meeting.
Aberdeen Asset Management, an investor, called Dudley’s pay structure was “overly complex” and said it was confident “the company will take note of shareholders’ feedback”.
The pay increase is linked to a doubling of funds set aside for Dudley’s pensions and is based on a calculation approved by shareholders in 2014.
BP earlier this year posted the company’s biggest loss in at least 20 years for 2015, ravaged by tumbling oil prices and payments for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
It also announced it would axe another 3,000 jobs, taking its total cull to 11,000 positions since the start of 2015.