AG Barr Shareholders Vote to Increase New CEO’s Pay

June 12, 2024

Shareholders of AG Barr have supported a resolution to increase the new CEO’s salary by 25.7%, despite the company cutting almost 200 jobs in a strategy pivot earlier this year.

AG Barr is one of the UK’s largest soft drinks businesses and owns multiple brands including Irn Bru, Funkin Cocktails, Boost Drinks, Rubicon and Strathmore Water.

In an AGM held on May 31, 81.9% of shareholders voted to approve the annual statement by the chair of the remuneration committee and the director’s remuneration report for 2024.

This was a slight decrease from 82.6% of votes in favour of approving the remuneration report in 2023 and an increase from 73.3% of votes in support in 2022.

Euan Sutherland will be granted a base salary of £650,000 for the 2024/25 year.

In comparison, the previous CEO Roger White was paid £513,000 in the 2023/24 year and will receive a pay of £517,000 until 31 July, when he will depart from his role.

The shareholders’ decision came just months after AG Barr announced it will cut 195 jobs as part of a restructure and strategy pivot.

“The current direct to store delivery model, supported by telesales, would move to an enlarged and enhanced field sales operation with brands directly supplied through existing wholesale channels,” the company said while announcing the decision in March.

Prior to the May 31 AGM, Minerva informed AG Barr’s shareholders that the incoming CEO’s salary rate would be 25.7% higher than the outgoing CEO’s salary rate.

However, the company explained that the committee agreed that Sutherland’s base salary was appropriate in order to successfully recruit him as CEO, given his experience as a PLC director.

Even though AG Barr acknowledged the salary is above that of the current CEO, the company noted it is materially lower than the salary received by Sutherland in his most recent appointment at Saga.

Approval of the remuneration report has also allowed Sutherland to contribute 8% of his base salary to a defined contribution pension plan, aligning with the wider workforce, whereas incumbent executive directors will continue to contribute 24%.

Minerva noted it is best practice for incumbent executive directors to receive a pension rate in line with the wider workforce. As a result, shareholders may be disappointed that the company has not disclosed a clear action plan to align other executive pension rates with those of the workforce.

Last Updated: 14 June 2024