UK - Most company bosses believe the public perception of top directors has been damaged by rows over "fat cat pay", new research shows.
A survey – commissioned by executive communications consultancy, The Aziz Corporation – found that 89% of senior executives agreed business leaders would be less likely to come under fire for their remuneration packages if they were seen as “good ambassadors”.
The Aziz Corporation, which restricted the research to directors of UK companies worth £5m-£100m, found that 92% believed the backlash against bonuses and pay increases would have been lessened if executives had greater visibility, and ensured their achievements were “more obvious”.
Chairman Khalid Aziz said while there may be an argument for large salaries to retain top performers, these had been overshadowed by “golden parachutes” for executives leaving underperforming firms.
He said: “No amount of great communications will work if you fail to do the business; however, the actual policies do need to be transparent.”
Just over half the respondents (51%) said their firm had no specific policy for communicating executive remuneration strategies to stakeholders.
Aziz said many companies – such as J. Sainsbury, which last week saw its chairman Sir Peter Davis resign over a £2.4m bonus – had fundamental flaws in the way they communicated with shareholders.
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