BusinessCompany NewsInvestor uproar at Gent’s £1.5m bonus

Investor uproar at Gent's £1.5m bonus

Vodafone's chief executive Sir Christopher Gent is at the centre of another Fat Cat row after his company awarded him a £1.5m share award and stock options despite hefty losses at the company.

The share award is the second instalment of a deal arranged when Vodafone took over Germany’s Mannesmann two years ago. Gent will get an option package, which gives him the right to buy shares at a price near current levels.

This is despite Vodafone posting a massive £13.5bn annual loss, the biggest loss in UK corporate history.

Gent already received five million pounds of shares in the first instalment had only had to meet certain targets related to the restructuring to collect the rest.

If shareholders gain any comfort from the deal it is that the shares are now only worth £1.5m.

According to the FT, Vodafone wants to avoid the controversy over pay packages of the last two years, which started with plans to pay a cash bonus of £10m to Gent after the Mannesmann deal.

After an investor uproar, the company was forced to eventually pay £5m in cash, with a further five million set aside in shares.

Details of the bonus and options will be contained in the company’s annual report, which is published on Wednesday. Vodafone’s shares are at a four year low of 93.25p having underperformed by about 30% over the last 12 months.

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