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BP shareholders take on executive pay

Sign outside a BP gas station in Chicago

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

SCOTT JAGOW: Some shareholders of the oil company BP want to make sure the company learns its lesson. They say with all the safety problems BP has had, the outgoing CEO shouldn't be getting overcompensated. Our European correspondent Stephen Beard joins us from London. Stephen, what are these shareholders up to?

STEPHEN BEARD: A group of public sector pension funds are sending a letter to BP today, putting pressure on the company over the issue of safety. They say executive remuneration should be tied closely to safety, executive pay should not benefit solely from cost-cutting. One member of this group of public sector pension funds has joined a legal action with a U.S. pension fund, calling on the company to freeze all the payouts to Lord Browne, the departing chief executive of BP. The sum they are talking about is $140 million and they want this sum to be frozen so that when an earlier lawsuit, which was launched in Alaska last year, is resolved, the court can resort to this money.

JAGOW: Stephen, what does BP say about this?

BEARD: The company says, first of all, no comment since there is a lawsuit underway here, however they do not recognize this figure of $140 million as Lord Browne's remuneration. They're unable to give the exact figure because there are stock options there but they say it is significantly less than $140 million.

JAGOW: OK Stephen, thank you.

BEARD: OK Scott.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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