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Wizz Air sees off investor revolt over bonus plan

Wizz Air sees off investor revolt over bonus plan
Wizz Air sees off investor revolt over bonus plan   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

LONDON – Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air survived an investor protest against its plan to pay its chief executive a bonus of up to 100 million pounds if he hits targets, although a third of shares voted were opposed.

The airline’s board has said the bonus proposal is needed to help retain Jozsef Varadi, whom it calls “the leading global airline CEO“. It wants to him to sign a new five-year contract.

Several shareholder advisory groups had urged investors to vote against the proposals on future bonuses, calling the maximum payout excessive.

One third of shares (33.2%) voted were cast against the directors’ remuneration policy at the meeting on Tuesday, while 32.44% of votes opposed the bonus plan.

Under the bonus plan, Varadi’s target is to double the company’s share price over the next five-year period. There are also environmental, social and governance objectives attached to the payout.

Varadi, 55, co-founded Wizz in 2003. The airline has since grown rapidly, spreading from its core eastern European markets of Poland, Hungary and Romania into Britain, Italy and other parts of western Europe.