THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the global insurance company Aviva has quit with immediate effect, less than a week after shareholders at the company rejected a report on the pay of top executives.
Andrew Moss announced his departure this morning, after one of the largest shareholder revolts in modern history last week saw 59 per cent of shareholders vote against a corporate pay deal.
Moss had last week offered to waive a pay rise of around 5 per cent, which would have brought his salary over the £1m (€1.24m) mark, but even still had the executive pay deal rejected by shareholders.
That vote was non-binding, however; a binding vote on whether to reappoint him as chief executive was approved by 96 per cent of shareholders.
The Sunday Telegraph yesterday quoted a large anonymous shareholder as saying the vote on the pay deal was a “safety valve” for shareholders to vent their anger at the company, which has seen its share price fall by around 30 per cent in a year.
Share prices have declined by over 60 per cent since Moss took over five years ago.
BBC News says the shareholders opposed last week’s pay report in frustration at the pay being offered to the company’s new UK chief executive, Trevor Matthews – who was awarded a £45,000 bonus for the 2011 year despite only joining Aviva’s board on December 2.
Aviva’s statement this morning did not outline how much severance pay Moss would receive, but it is thought that he is entitled to six months’ salary, or £480,000 (€595,000) in lieu of his notice period.
Aviva is in the process of removing 950 jobs from its Irish workforce of 1,770.