Fat cat pay row at Shell with boss scooping £18m as rising oil price hits drivers in the pocket
Shell sparked a fresh row over fat-cat pay after its chief executive was handed £17.8million last year.
As the rising oil price hit drivers in the pocket, Ben van Beurden saw his pay more than double from £7.8million in 2017 thanks to a generous bonus scheme.
It means the Dutchman, who joined the oil group in 1983, has been paid nearly £60million since becoming boss in 2014.
‘Warped culture’: As the rising oil price hit drivers in the pocket, Shell boss Ben van Beurden saw his pay more than double from £7.8m in 2017 thanks to a generous bonus scheme
Critics attacked Shell’s ‘warped culture’ and said motorists hit by price rises at petrol pumps would be infuriated by the payout.
Blue-chip firms have been rocked by shareholder rebellions over staggering bonuses handed to bosses, with Astrazeneca, WPP and Unilever all attracting investors’ ire in the past year.
Luke Hildyard, of the High Pay Centre, said: ‘Shell epitomises the flawed governance model and warped culture of modern big business.
‘It’s ludicrous to think that chief executives who have climbed to the top of huge organisations need the lure of enormous bonuses to motivate them to do their jobs properly – and it would be deeply troubling if they did.
Pay awards hundreds of times the size of those experienced by the average worker reflect the dim view that business leaders have of the rest of us.’
Howard Cox of campaign group Fair Fuel UK said: ‘Motorists will be seething that Shell’s boss is wallowing in such a huge pay check.
‘It is an undeserved and obscene level of remuneration, generated from the pockets of hard-working drivers and small firms every time they fill up their vehicles.’
Van Beurden’s pay emerged in Shell’s latest annual report, published yesterday. It revealed the package handed to the 60-year-old included a £1.3million salary and £15.6million in bonuses.
Overall his remuneration soared by 128 per cent, up from a total of £7.8million in 2017. Shell claimed directors had spent significant time discussing the payout.
A spokesman added: ‘We believe our ratio is consistent with those seen in other companies, although it is challenging to draw a meaningful comparison given the different markets and industries in which they operate.’
Shell’s board will have to face shareholders at the annual general meeting in May, when investors will be asked to vote on its pay report.
The staggering payout handed to van Beurden comes after the group revealed profits last year had soared to their highest level in four years.
Shell raked in £16.3billion in 2018, up by more than a third from the £12billion it made the previous year.