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Burberry shareholders revolt on new chief executive's pay

More than half of Burberry shareholders voted not to support the remuneration report. Photo: PA

Burberry shareholders have staged a major revolt in protest at a multi-million pound pay package for the luxury brand's new chief executive.

Results of voting at the group's annual general meeting in London showed 52.7 percent against a resolution which included a £7.2 million "golden hello" for Christopher Bailey, who was previously chief creative officer.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar reports.

Including his performance-based shares package, split over five years, the 43-year-old Yorkshireman is in line to receive up to £10.3 million a year in salary, pension, variable bonuses and long-term awards each year.

He is also due to receive shares worth £19.5 million by 2018 under previous "golden handcuffs" arrangements with the group in his previous role to prevent him from joining rivals.

Afterwards, Bailey appeared to brush off the suggestion that he might hand back pay, saying:

It's not about giving something up. It is not something I made the decision on, it is the remuneration committee and the chairman and the board.

– Christopher Bailey
Christopher Bailey is in line to receive up to £10.3 million a year. Credit: PA

Today's vote is non-binding and related to awards over the last financial year but chairman Sir John Peace said he was "disappointed" and would talk to shareholders to try to allay their concerns.

Sir John said:

It really is an expression to us of concern over some aspects of our remuneration and I think it specifically relates to Christopher. I want to understand why they felt so strongly to vote against. When I understand it, I'll know what to do.

– Sir John Peace