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March 28 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp, which last year implemented a new executive compensation plan after an outcry from shareholders, paid Executive Chairman John Thornton $12.9 million in 2014, a third more than in 2013.
Jim Gowans and Kelvin Dushnisky, co-presidents of Barrick, the world's biggest gold producer, received $7.3 million and $4.5 million respectively, according to Barrick's annual information circular, filed late on Friday.
Barrick, along with other gold producers, faced yet another challenging year in 2014 with bullion prices remaining a third below 2011 peaks. Barrick's stock underperformed that of its peers last year, dropping 39 percent, compared with the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index's 7 percent decline.
The Toronto-based company also appointed Canada's former foreign affairs minister, John Baird, as well as Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to its international advisory board, according to company documents.
Under Barrick's new pay plan, unveiled in March 2014, the largest part of top executive compensation would be based on performance and paid in units that convert to Barrick shares that cannot be sold until the executive retires or leaves the company.
In 2013, Barrick shareholders, in a non-binding vote, rejected the company's plan for executive pay, in part because of a $11.9 million signing bonus awarded to Thornton.
Barrick made progress in advancing its strategic priorities in 2014; however, the Company continued to face significant challenges, and our share price underperformed our peer group.
Barrick's annual meeting takes place on April 28 in Toronto.
Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Steve Orlofsky