Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

British American Tobacco (BAT), the world’s largest global tobacco company and one of the least accountable companies listed on the JSE Securities Exchange, got a justifiable snotklap at its AGM last week in London. It was a predictable turn of events, given how badly BAT has disappointed investors in recent times. Over the past year, its share price has fallen 29.1% on the JSE — in part because cigarettes have become about as socially desirable as Atul Gupta pitching up at a Save SA rally. Shareholders clearly aren’t impressed. Which is probably why a quarter of them voted against BAT’s remuneration policy, which led to CEO Nicandro Durante taking home £11.4m (a staggering R193m) and finance director Ben Stevens scoring £6.6m (R112m) last year. The 37% rise in Durante’s pay is something of a slap in the face, considering shareholders have seen their wealth diminish by nearly a third. Its UK staff only got a 3% increase, so Durante is making out like a bandit. Institutional Sharehol...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now