The chief executive of Shell, Ben van Beurden is currently involved in an investor revolt over his £13.5m pay packet, as oil and gas companies are battling growing calls for a windfall tax on their profits.
Windfall tax is levied on an unexpectedly large profit, specifically one which is regarded as excessive or obtained unfairly.
According to an investment adviser, Pirc has asked shareholders to vote against the chief executive’s pay packet at a general meeting which is scheduled to take place around May 30. The shareholders have also been asked to call it ‘excessive’.
In 2021, the Dutchman earned £6.3 million, up from £5.2 million the year before. The company then gave him an increase of 3.5% in his salary. This went from £1.42 million, he still has the opportunity to land £12.1 million in cash and shares by hitting company targets.
According to Pirc, the CEO’s remuneration was in the top 25% of a peer comparison group, which raised concerns about the excessiveness of their pay.
Van Beurden, who moved to London in 2022 from The Hague, has seen the value of his firm stock rise from £14 million to £23 million as investors flocked to oil and gas equities during the energy crisis.
There are reports that bumper profits and pay at oil companies have sparked calls which have been led by the Labour party for a windfall tax on the North Sea oil and gas operators in order to reduce household energy bills.
Since taking the role in 2014, Van Beurden has earned more than £70 million in salaries and incentives. In 2018, he faced a shareholder revolt over his £8 million compensation package.