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Cigarette maker Imperial cuts CEO's pay package after investor concerns

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Imperial Brands has decided to cut Chief Executive Officer Stefan Bomhard’s performance-linked pay after shareholders expressed concerns over his remuneration package, the cigarette maker said on Thursday.

The company said Bomhard, who joined as CEO in July last year, and the remuneration committee have agreed that the face value of his 2021 long term incentive plan award will be cut to 315% from 350% of his salary.

At its annual general meeting earlier this month, Imperial said around 40% of shareholders voted against the directors’ remuneration report.

The shareholder revolt over Bomhard's salary came as it was "significantly larger" than his long-running female predecessor, according here to The Times newspaper.

When Imperial Brands announced Bomhard’s appointment in February last year, it said he would receive an annual salary of about 1.3 million pounds ($1.82 million) and a pension allowance equivalent to a maximum of 14% of salary and other usual benefits.

Since joining, the former Inchcape executive has promised to boost the company’s performance by bringing in new talent, changing incentive structures and sharpening focus on top markets.

This is not the first time shareholders have revolted against the tobacco company’s CEO pay packages.

The company was forced to revisit a pay rise for its then CEO Alison Cooper in 2017, after shareholders balked here at the pay package, which was slated to increase her salary to almost 8.5 million pounds annually from 5.5 million pounds.

$1 = 0.7161 pounds Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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