While the vote is nonbinding BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said before the vote took place that the board would be taking shareholder concerns seriously.
Svanberg said: “We know already from the proxies received and conversations with our institutional investors that there is real concern over the directors’ pay in this challenging year for our shareholders.
“We have always judged executive performance not on the price of oil or bottom line profit but on measures that are clearly within management’s control. And, from that perspective, the Board has concluded that it has been an outstanding year.
“Yet, on remuneration, the shareholders’ reactions are very strong. They are seeking change in the way we should approach this in the future.
“But let me be clear. We hear you.
“We will sit down with our largest shareholders to make sure we understand their concerns and return to seek your support for a renewed policy.”
After the vote Svanberg expressed his disappointment, saying: “We were disappointed that the advisory vote for this year’s remuneration report was not carried. We have already spoken to a number of shareholders and have a continuing dialogue. They are seeking changes to our remuneration policy for the future. We will continue that engagement and will bring a revised policy to our next AGM in 2017.”
Previously, Ashley Hamilton Claxton, Corporate Governance Manager, Royal London, told the BBC: “The executives received the maximum bonuses possible in a year when [BP] made a record loss, and to us that just does not translate into very good decision-making by the board.
“We think it sends the wrong message. It shows that the board is out of touch.”