Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read (pictured, second from right) and CFO Margherita Della Valle (pictured, right) volunteered to cut their annual share bonuses by 20 percent following declines in the company’s share price.
The announcement, made to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) earlier today (10 July), comes less than two weeks before the company’s AGM. At the event, executives could come into criticism for both share performance and a decision announced in May to cut its shareholder dividend.
Vodafone’s cut in investor returns came as it booked an eye-watering annual loss of €7.6 billion for its financial year to end-March 2019.
At its annual results media event Read, who took over from long term chief Vittorio Colao in October 2018, blamed its performance on competition in key markets in Europe and Africa and other “headwinds”.
In its notice to the LSE, Vodafone attributed the offer to reduce bonuses for Read and Della Valle to “the low valuation of the share price following its reduction over the year and particularly the change in value between the date of the remuneration committee’s decision [to make the award] in respect of the value of the awards and the date of grant.”
The value of shares in Vodafone Group are down by almost a third year-on-year following a steady decline.
At its AGM on 23 July, shareholders will be asked to approve the remuneration committee’s proposals for executive payouts.
Since its latest annual report, costs are continuing to mount. Vodafone committed to spend €1.9 billion in Germany’s 5G spectrum auction and is expecting to gain approval in the coming months for an €18.4 billion purchase of a number of assets from Liberty Global.
It is also in the process of rolling-out 5G in its markets. Last week the company’s UK operation launched its service offering unlimited data and converged tariffs as it aims to compete with BT’s Consumer operation which includes mobile operator EE.―Mobile World Live