Cochlear shareholders vote against exec pay

Sydney-based hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear held its AGM yesterday, with shareholders voting for a “first strike” on executive pay.

31 per cent of votes were counted against the remuneration report and 33 per cent against options given to CEO Chris Roberts.

Cochlear has seen its profits fall 68 per cent on last year, hurt by exchange rates and a costly recall of the C1500 series implant, Smart Company reports.

Another “no” vote of over 25 per cent next year would see a spill motion of the Cochlear board put to shareholders, with this requiring over half the votes to succeed, under the “two strikes” law.

Some were disappointed with the “no” votes. Wilson HTM healthcare analyst Shane Storey told the Sydney Morning Herald, “Recalls happen, but the question is how do you deal with it. And management put in a virtuoso performance there.”

The Australian Shareholders Association and CSI Glass had earlier agreed to both vote “no” on Roberts’ remuneration.