Barrick Gold unveils new pay scheme, may add directors

Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:52pm EDT
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By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) unveiled a new executive compensation plan on Monday, and lead director J. Brett Harvey said the company might select two new board members after its annual meeting on April 30.

Under the plan, effective for 2014, the largest part of top executives' compensation would be based on performance, paid in units that convert into Barrick shares and that cannot be sold until the executive retires or leaves the company.

The plan, detailed in a regulatory filing, is the latest move by Barrick to improve governance after a series of missteps in recent years angered investors. At last year's annual meeting, shareholders voted down a nonbinding resolution on executive pay.

"We heard the shareholders loud and clear. We understood what they had to say," Harvey, who chairs the compensation committee, told reporters on Monday.

In December, Barrick said two longtime directors would not stand for re-election and announced four new board nominees. It also confirmed that the company's founder, Chairman Peter Munk, would step down at the annual meeting and be replaced by Co-Chairman John Thornton.

Harvey said the company was "probably going to pick up two more" directors after the annual meeting.

He said the new compensation plan is meant to better line up management's interests with those of shareholders: "The theme internally became, instead of having wealthy managers, we wanted wealthy owners that were managers."

RETENTION ISSUES?   Continued...

Barrick Gold Corporation Founder and Chairman Peter Munk attends a news conference in Toronto, December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris