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Yamana Gold Corp. chief executive officer Peter Marrone is giving back special share units he was granted last June, saying he has heard the message sent by shareholders who voted against the company’s compensation plan in its annual say-on-pay vote.
Yamana reported Wednesday that it lost the say-on-pay vote at its annual meeting in Toronto, making it the third major major company to lose a compensation vote in the past week. Shareholders of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Barrick Gold Corp. also voted against compensation plans at both companies, complaining about special payments awarded to senior executives in both cases.
Yamana’s shareholders were particularly upset with a special bonus program rewarding executives for completing the takeover of Osisko Mining Corp. Mr. Marrone, who is both chairman and CEO of the company, received a cash bonus of $2.7-million under the program and was granted 450,000 performance share units that will pay out in 2017 depending on the success of Osisko.
Yamana said 63 per cent of shareholders voted against the compensation plan and just 37 per cent were supportive.
Yamana’s shareholder proxy circular said the Osisko share units had no value as of Dec. 31, 2014, because performance conditions had not been met yet, but said they could have “significant value in the future based on strong performance.”
Mr. Marrone said Wednesday that he will return the share units in light of the say-on-pay voting result, although he did not suggest he would return the cash bonus.
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