May 12, 2011 / 3:23 PM / 9 years ago

Dow Chemical shareholders OK CEO's $21.3 million pay

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N) shareholders overwhelmingly approved Chief Executive Andrew Liveris’ $21.3 million pay package at their annual meeting on Thursday.

The vote was a huge vote of confidence in Liveris, who nearly lost his job in 2009 as the recession raged and Dow tried to swallow its expensive takeover of Rohm & Haas. Since then, Dow’s results have nearly recovered and the company has increased its dividend.

The largest U.S. chemical maker said 87 percent of votes cast were in favor of the compensation for Liveris and other senior executives.

Dow’s owners also decided to vote each year on executive pay.

Both compensation votes were required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the financial oversight legislation approved by the U.S. Congress last summer.

The act only requires a nonbinding vote. That means Dow’s board of directors can choose to ignore the results.

The company, which makes plastics, pesticides and electronic materials, has seen revenue and profit jump in the past two years as demand improves from recession lows and new products — including parts for Apple’s (AAPL.O) iPhone — open new markets.

“We are poised to deliver even more substantial earnings for our shareholders,” Liveris told the meeting, held in Midland, Michigan, and broadcast on the Internet. “Dow is on the right trajectory for future growth.”

A proposal, not supported by Dow’s board, that would have let shareholders vote by written consent failed. It received 42 percent of the vote cast.

The change would have let a proposal be submitted and considered without shareholders actually meeting in person.

Shares of Dow were down 0.9 percent to $38.65 in morning trading.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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