Mueller’s boosted package approved at Aer Lingus AGM

Pay package lower than average for Irish plc chief executives, says airline chairman

Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller: €1.52 million pay package approved at airline AGM.

Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller: €1.52 million pay package approved at airline AGM.

 


A motion approving the €1.52 million pay package received by Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller last year has been passed by a tiny margin. The AGM motion was passed by 211,115,469 votes to 210,856,226 – a margin of 0.001 per cent.

Before the vote, Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington said the board believed Mr Mueller’s pay package was lower than the average for Irish plc chief executives. “It is the strongly held view of our board and its remuneration committee that the retention and motivation of the chief executive is critical for the next phase of the company’s development.”

However he also said the concerns expressed by some shareholders had been noted and “the board will carefully consider your views on remuneration and this consideration will inform policy and practice going forward”.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, which holds a 25 per cent share in Aer Lingus, said on Thursday it would vote against the remuneration resolution.

However it is understood that Ryanair, which has a 29.9 per cent stake in the formerly State-owned airline, voted in favour of the so-called “say on pay” resolution. The resolution is a non-binding one, so a defeat would not have forced a change to Mr Mueller’s package.

Contribution of 40%
Protesters outside the hotel where the AGM took place drew attention to the fact that the increase in the employer’s contribution to Mr Mueller’s pension, from 25 per cent of basic pay to 40 per cent, came against a background where Aer Lingus workers are facing a cut in their entitlements due to a deficit in the pension scheme to which they belong.

Minister Leo Varadkar’s department said on Thursday it was voting against the pay package. “It is totally inappropriate that at such a time the pension contribution for the CEO should increase from 25 per cent to 40 per cent.” Mr Mueller did not speak during the AGM.

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