Two members of GlaxoSmithKline's remuneration committee have resigned in the wake of the company's defeat by shareholders over its pay policy. Two weeks ago at the group's annual general meeting, rebel shareholders won a landmark vote against 'fat cat' boardroom remuneration when they rejected generous packages offered to GSK senior executives, including chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier.
The patience of shareholders came to an end when they were asked to vote on a proposal to pay Garnier a 'golden parachute' of an estimated £22 million (€31m) if he was asked to leave, on top of a £5 million a year salary.
Paul Allaire, chairman of the remuneration committee, and Sir Roger Hurn, who had also been chairman of failed telecoms firm Marconi, have "decided to retire with immediate effect," according to a GSK statement. John McArthur will serve as interim chairman of the remuneration committee until a new chairman is appointed.
Allaire's departure comes as the former head of Xerox, along with five other former executives, fended off civil securities fraud charges with a $22 million (€19m) settlement with the Securities & Exchanges Commission, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations of accounting and disclosure improprieties.
GSK has appointed three new non-executive directors, namely: Crispin Davis, chief executive of publisher Reed Elsevier; Sir Robert Wilson, chairman of mining group Rio Tinto; and Lawrence Culp, president and chief executive of US tool maker Danaher.