BP boss gets 20 percent rise in total pay despite firm's $6.5 billion loss

Fri Mar 4, 2016 8:59am EST
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By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) - BP (BP.L: Quote) Chief Executive Bob Dudley's total pay rose 20 percent to nearly $20 million in 2015, a year when the oil major settled most of its U.S. oil spill litigations but also posted a record loss as crude prices plummeted.

BP has slashed thousands of jobs and sharply cut investments over the past year in the face of the market downturn, while reaching a landmark $20 billion settlement to resolve most claims from its deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Dudley's pay has risen steadily since he took office following the spill and has become a regular point of tension with shareholders. The firm's annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for April.

Last month BP reported a $6.5 billion loss for 2015 as its underlying replacement cost profit, its definition of net income, dropped to $5.9 billion in 2015 from $12.1 billion the previous year.

BP argues it needs to remain competitive and its remuneration is lower than most U.S. rivals.

In its annual report on Friday, BP said executive directors received no increase in base salary in 2015 and that senior leadership would not see salary increases this year either.

Dudley's total pay was boosted by a payment to his U.S. pension scheme and that rise stems from deferred bonus payments, the company said.

Ann Dowling, chair of BP's remuneration committee, said the company delivered strong operating and safety performances throughout 2015. The company's operating cash flow and underlying replacement cost profit were both well ahead of targets set for 2015, BP said.   Continued...

Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive of BP, attends the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative summit in Paris, France, October 16, 2015.   REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen