Origin suffers shareholder backlash over bonus to outgoing CEO Grant King

Origin suffers shareholder backlash over bonus to outgoing CEO Grant King

Origin suffers shareholder backlash over bonus to outgoing CEO Grant King

Origin Energy has suffered a backlash from shareholders, who disagree with a planned bonus payment for its outgoing chief executive, with as much as 16.5 per cent of proxy votes opposed to the move.Grant King, the company’s longstanding chief executive, is to leave the company today, and the company sought shareholder approval to pay him $1.35 million in so-called ‘equity performance share rights”. The move, while set to be passed, has been opposed by some proxy advisory firms. Proxy advisers have opposed outgoing CEO Grant King’s golden farewell. Photo: Robert Shakespeare The chairman, Gordon Cairns, sought to defend the share rights awards by arguing they have vesting periods of four to five years, and Mr King would “only receive value from the [options and rights] if you as shareholders do well”.Addressing shareholders at today’s annual general meeting, Mr Cairns pointed out that when Origin was spun out of Boral in 2000, it was worth $700 million. Its value has now reached $10 billion as the company has expanded its reach in the energy markets.In the year to June, Origin posted a net loss of $576 million, slightly less than the $590 million loss a year earlier on steady revenue of $11.9 billion as the weak oil price swamped earnings from elsewhere in the group.Origin has invested heavily in a gas export project in Queensland, which is now being brought into full producti…

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