AN £8 million performance-related payout for Tony Hayward, who was ousted as chief executive of BP over the Gulf of Mexico spill, was yesterday branded as "wholly unacceptable" by an investor group.
Pirc, which advises institutional investors, said although Hayward left the top job at the disaster-prone group without a bonus, he retained 1.8 million performance shares which are estimated to be worth more than 8m.
The firm also pointed the finger at Andy Inglis, BP's former head of exploration and production, who is set to receive 6m from his shares.
Both Hayward and Inglis were ousted from their roles at BP following the accident in the Gulf of Mexico, which cost 11 lives and was the worst oil spill in history.
"In Pirc's view, notwithstanding BP is a genuine global company, elements of the remuneration package are excessive, particularly in respect of departing directors retaining an interest in performance shares.
"Should these shares fully vest, they would be worth over 8m to Dr Hayward and over 6m to Mr Inglis, at today's share price, which in our view is totally unacceptable."
Pirc added that BP chose not to impose a "principle of mitigation" over the payments.
According to Pirc, Hayward received his 1m salary as well as a further 1.3m in compensation. He is a non-executive director of the firm's Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, for which he is paid US$150,000 (94,000).
Recently, TNK-BP - which is co-owned by a group of billionaire Russian oligarchs - succeeded in stopping BP from establishing a $16 billion Arctic exploration alliance with Russian oil firm Rosneft.
Pirc is advocating that shareholders vote against BP's remuneration report at its AGM in two weeks' time.
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