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The BBC's John Moylan
"For years, Vodafone's subscriber base has led that of its rivals"
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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Vodafone to review pay deal
Vodafone Chief Executive Sir Christopher Gent
Shareholders were unhappy at Sir Christopher Gent's bonus package
UK telecoms giant Vodafone has said it will review its pay arrangements after shareholders rebelled against directors' bonus arrangements at its annual general meeting (AGM).

Shareholders were unhappy over the award of share options, most notably those being granted to the company's chief executive Sir Christopher Gent.

"I do accept that the complexity of the policy allows for misinterpretation, and that a significant number of shareholders have abstained or voted against it," Vodafone chairman Lord MacLaurin told the AGM.

He also promised "a thorough review of remuneration arrangements".

Revolt on pay

Ahead of the meeting, shareholders had been planning to challenge Vodafone over its proposed bonus packages for senior staff.

Vodafone Chairman Lord MacLaurin
Chairman Lord MacLaurin promised " a thorough review of renumeration arrangements"
In particular, attention was being focused on the eight million share options for chief executive Sir Christopher.

It's not the first time Sir Christopher has run into controversy over his pay.

Last year's AGM saw anger over a proposed 10m bonus for Sir Christopher following the company's takeover of the German telecoms firm Mannesmann.

This year the National Association of Pension Funds recommended that shareholders abstain from voting on the pay package.

Shareholders suffer

Vodafone shareholders have had little to smile about in the past few months.

Shares have lost nearly two thirds of their value since the stock hit an all-time high in March last year.

Vodafone shares tumbled 5% last week when Sir Christopher said in an interview that the launch of its third-generation (3G) services could be delayed.

The delay was blamed on a lack of handsets.

Any delay in rolling out the network means it will be even longer before Vodafone can start to recoup some of the huge sums of money it's spent on 3G licences and building the new networks.

Vodafone has said it plans to spend 10bn over the next five years developing 3G services.

On Tuesday, Vodafone released figures showing that its average revenue per user had fallen during the past quarter in Germany and Britain.

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See also:

20 Jul 01 | Business
Vodafone backtracks on 3G
31 May 01 | Business
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