About 75% Barrick Gold Corp. shareholders voted Tuesday against the gold miner’s controversial executive compensation plan.
Chairman John Thornton said that, instead, investors voted in favour of non-binding motion to change the way the miner compensates its executives.
“We have heard you loud and clear,” Thornton told attendees of the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto.
Barrick’s goal is that next year’s vote on executive compensation will be “at a minimum the opposite of the vote this year, and preferably a whole lot better than that,” Thornton added.
However the shareholders request is non-binding, which means Barrick isn’t legally obligated to act on it. In fact, the gold giant faced a similar vote at both of its past two annual meetings, but those motions failed.
In 2013, Barrick founder Peter Munk had to defend the sum paid to Thornton — , a former president at Goldman Sachs — just to lure him in. “We had to secure him,” Munk told investors then.
This year Thornton compensation was, once again, the bone of contention. The company lost over a third of its market value last year, but paid its chairman $13 million. . That’s up from the $9.5 million he made in 2013, but still below the eye-watering $17 million in 2012 which included a roughly $12 million golden hello.
Image: Screen grab of Brookings Institution via You Tube.