Whitbread boss Alison Brittain hit by bruising pay revolt as 38% of voters oppose the Premier Inn owner’s pay packet
Whitbread boss Alison Brittain suffered a bloody nose after a massive pay revolt at the company’s annual general meeting.
More than 38 per cent of voters opposed the Premier Inn owner’s pay packet for its directors in an advisory vote.
Whitbread said that it would ‘continue to engage constructively with shareholders’ following the rebellion.
Pay row: Whitbread boss Alison Brittain pocketed a total payout of £2.16m for the year to March, including a bonus of more than £1m
It came as Brittain pocketed a total of £2.16million for the year to March, including a bonus of more than £1million.
Critics slammed the chief executive’s decision to take the bonus despite the company taking £118million in business rates relief and furlough payments, which it has not paid back, during the year.
The scale of the revolt also means Whitbread will join the Investment Association’s list of shame over fat cat pay – a register of companies where 20 per cent or more of shareholders oppose boardroom earnings.
The rebellion follows similar criticism of Whitbread from shareholders and politicians last year when it paid a bonus despite claiming hundreds of millions of pounds in support from the British taxpayer.
The backlash eventually pushed Brittain to scrap a £729,000 bonus that had been deferred by the board during the pandemic.
Whitbread is the latest leading UK firm to see investors revolt over levels of executive pay.
Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline, food delivery group Ocado and bank Standard Chartered have all faced big shareholder revolts.
The rebellions were an embarrassment for GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley, her Ocado counterpart Tim Steiner and banker Bill Winters, three of the best-paid bosses in Britain.