It’s not just consumers who are outraged by Big Oil CEO compensation.
Disgruntled BP shareholders said a planned payment of an estimated £72 million — $124.5 million — to outgoing chief executive John Browne is unjustified. One called it "vulgar."
Peter Sutherland, BP’s "nonexecutive" chairman of the board, told the annual
meeting that the past year has been "turbulent" for BP. Safety violations and shoddy maintenance in its Texas City oil refinery were cited for the blast that killed 15 and injured 500. Lack of maintenance to save a buck caused a major oil spill and shutdown of its pipeline in Alaska.
Writing in the Guardian newspaper Terry Macalister reported that Lord Browne described himself as "truly humbled" by the accidents, especially the refinery fire.
"Texas City happened on my watch. It was the saddest and darkest day of my
working life at BP, " said Browne.
Well, if he was "truly humbled" he ought to put the money where is mouth is and decline the golden handshake.
Despite the outrage expressed by some brave shareholders, the gigantic payout was approved.