Shell caps top managers’ salaries

Oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell has frozen salaries of three top executives for at least the nex

Salaries for the Shell's chief executive, Peter Voser, chief financial officer, Simon Henry, and head of the international exploration and production business, Malcolm Brinded, have been capped until January 2011. Shell has said the directors will not award management bonuses if they fail to meet targets, without prior shareholder engagement.

Shareholders have generally supported the move, but said the targets should be stiffer and that the Anglo-Dutch oil major should give a stronger commitment about not awarding discretionary bonuses. The move by Shell is an effort to end the acrimonious dispute over pay of its top managers that triggered an investor revolt at last year's annual meeting when 60 per cent of the shareholders voted down the executive pay plans.

Hans Wijers, the chairman of the remuneration committee at Shell, said the salary freeze and other measures such as compulsorily channelling of one-fourth of all bonuses into the deferred bonus plan were intended to show restraint in the prevailing economic atmosphere and align executive and shareholder interests.