May 6, 2020 / 5:16 PM / 18 days ago

Ocado CEO's $73 million payout opposed by 30% of AGM votes

FILE PHOTO: A Ocado delivery van is seen along a country road in East Grinstead, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, East Grinstead, Britain, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Adam Oliver

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost 30% of votes cast at Ocado’s annual shareholder meeting opposed the online supermarket’s 2019 pay report on Wednesday, including co-founder and CEO Tim Steiner’s 58.7 million-pound ($72.5 million) package.

Some shareholders and investor advisory groups had highlighted ahead of the meeting what they regarded as excessive awards for Ocado’s executives in 2019. Ocado says its rewards are justified because it created 7.5 billion pounds of value for shareholders in the five years to 2019.

Ocado said 29.76% of votes cast at the annual general meeting (AGM) were against the resolution to approve the directors’ remuneration report, while 70.24% were in favour.

Shareholders who voted against the pay report included Royal London Asset Management and BlackRock. Some 19.65% of votes cast also opposed the re-election of Andrew Harrison as a director. Harrison chairs Ocado’s remuneration committee.

Ocado’s AGM was not attended by investors, who had to vote by proxy because of the coronavirus lockdown in Britain.

Earlier, Ocado said it had seen retail revenue soar 40.4% year-on-year in its second quarter to date as it ramped up capacity to meet unprecedented demand during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Its shares closed up 5.6%.

Reporting by James Davey, Edited by Paul Sandle and Alexander Smith

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