Shell hikes ex-CEO pay deal by 53% to £9.7m
Energy company Shell awarded its outgoing chief executive a 53% pay rise last year as soaring energy prices contributed to record profits and forced millions of consumers into fuel poverty.
Ben van Beurden, who left at the end of last year, received a pay and bonuses package worth £9.7 million, an uplift on £6.3m in 2021.
Over his for nine years at the help has been paid in excess of £86m and will receive £700,000 for remaining as an adviser to Shell for the first six months of this year and will continue to receive millions of pounds in performance-based bonuses over coming years.
Van Beurden’s total pay package last year was 80 times higher than that of the median Shell employee and the campaign group Global Witness said that it was 294 times the UK’s median salary.
Wael Sawan, Shell’s new chief executive, will be paid an annual salary of £1.4 million – similar to his predecessor – and is entitled to a performance-based annual bonus of up to two and a half times his salary.
Shell’s profits last year hit a record $40 billion as oil and gas companies benefited from high prices that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Shell’s remuneration committee praised Mr Van Beurden for having played “a leading role in the energy transition, both internally in driving performance against our strategic objectives”.
The group says that 15% of executives’ annual bonuses are determined by metrics related to the energy transition.
Fossil fuels campaign leader at Global Witness, Alison Harrison, said Shell’s chief executive earned in one year “what a typical UK worker would earn in six lifetimes”.
She added: “Surely most of us can agree that one person shouldn’t be able to amass such huge wealth on the back of a fossil-fuel-funded war in Ukraine and a global energy crisis?”
The Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, said: “It is outrageous that oil and gas bosses are raking in millions in bonuses while families struggle to heat their homes.
“Rishi Sunak’s refusal to properly tax these eye-watering bonuses and record profits is mind boggling and shows how out of touch he is. It is completely unfair at a time when the Conservative government is choosing to put people’s energy bills up.”