Aerospace & Defense

Wizz Air sees off investor revolt over bonus plan

2 minute read

A Wizz Air Airbus A320 takes off from Luton Airport after Wizz Air resumed flights today on some routes, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Luton, Britain, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) - Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) survived an investor protest against its plan to pay its chief executive a bonus of up to 100 million pounds if he hits targets, although a third of shares voted were opposed.

The airline's board has said the bonus proposal is needed to help retain Jozsef Varadi, whom it calls "the leading global airline CEO". It wants to him to sign a new five-year contract.

Several shareholder advisory groups had urged investors to vote against the proposals on future bonuses, calling the maximum payout excessive.

One third of shares (33.2%) voted were cast against the directors' remuneration policy at the meeting on Tuesday, while 32.44% of votes opposed the bonus plan.

Under the bonus plan, Varadi's target is to double the company's share price over the next five-year period. There are also environmental, social and governance objectives attached to the payout.

Varadi, 55, co-founded Wizz in 2003. The airline has since grown rapidly, spreading from its core eastern European markets of Poland, Hungary and Romania into Britain, Italy and other parts of western Europe.

Reporting by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle; Editing by Nick Macfie

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