June 8, 2021

Agenda – Big Payouts to Top Brass Reveal ‘Naked’ Boards, Say Investors

Last year chief executive compensation rose by the largest margin in almost a decade, despite a global health crisis that hurt the economy. Now investors have responded by voting thumbs-down in greater numbers than before on pay packages for the top brass, especially in the consumer goods sector.

The 2021 proxy voting season, when companies hold their annual meetings and seek buy-in from shareholders on matters such as say on pay, is still underway.

Yet two separately released May reports by the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute and consulting firm Farient Advisors show how an uptick in big payouts to top executives at S&P 500 companies may have triggered an investor backlash at enterprises such as Walgreens Boots AllianceGeneral Electric and Starbucks, which have received unusually low say-on-pay support from investors this proxy season.

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