Barrick chairman John Thornton takes $10-million cut in pay – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – March 24, 2016)

John Thornton has finally addressed the recurring outcry over his compensation – by taking a nearly $10-million (U.S.) cut in pay. The executive chairman of Barrick Gold Corp. will receive $3.1-million for his work in 2015, a dramatic reduction from the $12.9-million he pocketed for 2014.

Shareholders have twice voted against Mr. Thornton’s compensation package in recent years through non-binding “say-on-pay” resolutions, and he had vowed to address investors’ anger on the issue.

“Last year, our shareholders voiced concern about how we compensated our executive chairman,” said J.B. Harvey, chair of Barrick’s compensation committee. “We have listened carefully to their feedback.”

To be sure, the 75-per-cent run-up in Barrick’s stock price since the start of the year will go a long way to easing Mr. Thornton’s pain. He owned $29-million in Barrick stock as of March 1.

Still, outside observers said the pay cut was welcome. “It’s a positive step to address investors’ concerns from last year,” said Sid Subramani, an analyst at Veritas Investment Research. “But shareholders will have to decide whether this goes as far as they want.”

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