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Pressure on Sly Bailey increases

Outgoing Trinity Mirror executive attracts more protest in the wake of her resignation.

Sly Bailey, outgoing chief executive of the Trinity Mirror, faces further protest over her £1.2m salary at the annual general meeting of shareholders on Thursday.

Reports suggest that 20 per cent of investors could vote against her appointment. Earlier this week, she announced she would step down by the end of the year, but this protest could mean she leaves earlier. The revolt would need 50 per cent of the shareholders to vote against her to force her out immediately.

The NUJ will be protesting outside the AGM, handing out a letter to shareholders urging them not to give Bailey a pay-off, and for her to leave now.  This letter will point out that Trinity Mirror was, in 2003 when Bailey took over, a FTSE 250 company worth £1bn but is now worth £80m. Bailey has presided over a series of cuts to staff and pay packets during her 10 year tenure at the company.

The NUJ are calling this a “failure on an industrial scale”. It said:

More than 1,000 journalists paid the price for the £15m she will have scooped during her tenure. This must never happen again - so shareholders must insist her successor proves their worth with real and sustainable gains and genuine leadership that has a commitment to journalism at its heart.

Bailey's resignation is understood to have pacified the investors somewhat, with Jane Lighting, the head of the company's remuneration committee, avoiding huge protests against her re-election that were expected. Bailey is working out her notice period, and has not, so far, been awarded a compensatory pay off. This could change if she leaves earlier than currently planned.

This comes in the same week that Aviva's chief executive, Andrew Moss, was forced to step down by shareholders displeased by executive remuneration for board members.

The move is being heralded as a "shareholder revolt" against board members awarding themselves huge salaries, regardless of results.