Shell CEO’s 2021 pay jumps 25% to Â£6 million
Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, has announced that its CEO, Ben van Beurden, received a 25% pay increase in 2021, bringing his total compensation to Â£6 million.
The news has sparked controversy, with critics arguing that the pay rise is unjustified given the company’s poor financial performance and its role in contributing to climate change.
Shell’s profits have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the company reporting a loss of $21.7 billion in 2020. The company has also faced criticism for its continued investment in fossil fuels, despite growing concerns about the impact of climate change.
In response to the criticism, Shell has defended the pay rise, stating that it reflects the CEO’s “strong leadership” during a challenging year. The company also pointed out that van Beurden’s pay is in line with industry standards and that it has made significant progress in reducing its carbon footprint.
However, environmental campaigners have argued that Shell’s progress on reducing its carbon footprint is not enough, and that the company needs to take more drastic action to address the climate crisis.
The controversy over van Beurden’s pay highlights the growing pressure on companies to take action on climate change and to be more transparent about their executive pay. Many investors and shareholders are now demanding that companies link executive pay to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, rather than just financial performance.
In response to this pressure, some companies, including Unilever and Danone, have already introduced ESG-linked executive pay schemes. However, many more companies are yet to follow suit, and there is still a long way to go before executive pay is truly aligned with sustainability goals.
In conclusion, the controversy over Shell CEO Ben van Beurden’s pay rise highlights the need for companies to take action on climate change and to be more transparent about their executive pay. While some progress has been made, there is still a long way to go before executive pay is truly aligned with sustainability goals. Companies that fail to take action risk losing the support of investors and shareholders, as well as damaging their reputation and brand.