Sibanye-Stillwater pay resolution fails to pass muster at AGM for the first time

SIBANYE-Stillwater shareholders declined to pass the implementation of the firm’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting on Tuesday.

Although non-binding, the vote is a sign of rising opposition to executive pay although a separate resolution on the remuneration policy passed.

Companies require a 75% majority to pass resolutions.

“The report can still be implemented but this is the first time as many shareholders have voted in this way,” said Henrika Ninham, a spokeswoman for Sibanye-Stillwater. “Obviously the infamous 300 has played a part,” she said.

Sibanye-Stillwater announced in March, just as a strike at its gold mining operations was getting underway, that its CEO Neal Froneman would receive about R300m in three-year share option payments.

The payout was seized upon by unions which drew attention to the disparity in executive pay and entry-level salaries where miners were bidding for a R1,140 per month increase. Sibanye-Stillwater has offered a R800 per month increase.

Some 26.56% of shareholders voted against the remuneration implementation report whilst 21.33% of shareholders were against the remuneration policy.

“We are in the habit of engaging with shareholders anyway on remuneration. What will happen now is that this will be more formal,” said Ninham. Shareholders have been invited to join Sibanye-Stillwater in discussions about its pay schemes.

Froneman told Miningmx during a May 12 interview that hostility towards executive pay would drive essential skills into the private sector and even force companies to delist. “There’s a lot of naïvety about executive pay. People look at it emotionally and not technically,” Froneman said.

“This (controversy over executive remuneration) will drive companies to delist and become private because it’s unfair towards the executive and senior management teams that run these companies.

“The whole sentiment drives average performance and there are people in companies who are not average, and you will lose them to private industry,” he said.

“I fully acknowledge the issue of inequality and poverty, but you don’t solve this by not rewarding performance. You solve it by creating jobs and economic growth, not by cutting salaries of executives.”

14 COMMENTS

  1. The tide has turned.

    SS shareholders have a Plan B in place. I hope Neal accepts whatever outcome gratefully and gracefully. He has put in a sterling performance and, no doubt, that contribution is appreciated and will reflect on his future options.

  2. I presume the 26% against were mostly PIC and other politically related investors! The majority of NON political investors understand and appreciate what value has been created by the executives. I can’t imagine anyone worth their salt would begrudge R300m of dilution on a group with a market cap of R133bn, particularly when it was only R10bn a few years ago. Perspective is everything guys! No wonder Neal is so disappointed with SA and it’s leadership! He’s right!!

  3. The 26.5% and the 21% are probably just sickened by the arrogance, not so much the wording of the remuneration report or the policy.

  4. PIC (SA Government) hold over 15%. I presume about 60% of shareholders actually voted so mostly just them showing support for unions. A pity and very stupid!

  5. Mr Fomeman you don’t know how it is to lash rock with shovel, how to drill a hole. How to work with blast with 200kg explosive on a shift.
    What are goining to do R300,000,000. I hope that you pay it all over to the poor.

    • Froneman has played an excellent role in strategic acquisitions that allowed the company to be where it is today. The company need to enter a growth path to benefit shareholders. I think Mark Cutifani can lead this growth path well, and he is available on the job market. Neal deserve 300m inventive, but the company need somebody to foster good relations with government and other vital stakeholders and lead the growth path now.

  6. Rubbish Froneman. His share performance came about on the back of commodity prices and SOME talent. Not R300M worth. He seems to think the talent pool is limited to a few people, rest assured it is not. He is insulting and arrogant to the point where frankly it’s time to pack his bags and go.

  7. What CEO in SA earning one Million Rand a month cannot live like a King today. So imagine a CEO donating even 30 percent of his windfall back to his Workers at the coal face of helping create this company wealth, what a different world we could live in, but somehow self importance and greed hold sway.

  8. His in position not getting untill its to late for a company and its people!!!! If the shareholders agree on what he wants we are in serious trouble !!!!!this country is already in serious trouble because people that made all the wrong decisions thats not educated for there positions !!!!!

  9. Minerals were deposited in the ground by nature, and they way we mine them today was was designed and developed long ago by clever people long gone from the induts, and not by people who today deem themselves “talented” to “manage”.

  10. Guys, please do not lose sight of the TAX payable on this sum. The state will receive +/- R125m, leaving Neal with +/- R175m. This is a contribution of more than 40% of his earnings.

  11. Sibanye is the worst when coming to paying employees compares to other mining companies but their ceo pockets so much and even boost about it..it’s an insult to those who goes underground everyday and comes out with nothing to put in their table

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