Nuon boss forgoes EUR 97,000 bonus
26 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — The boss of public energy company Nuon has relented to shareholder pressure and agreed to forgo a bonus of EUR 97,000.
26 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — The boss of public energy company Nuon has relented to shareholder pressure and agreed to forgo a bonus of EUR 97,000.
Ludo van Halderen's salary of EUR 815,000 last year has come under intense criticism in recent weeks, particularly at a time when unions have been urged to moderate wage demands.
Van Halderen announced his decision on Monday after the annual general meeting at which shareholders — including the province of Gelderland, which owns 44 percent of Nuon — exerted pressure on him to make a "substantial gesture".
"It was not an easy decision, but I had to make a gesture to bring the public discussion back to where it belongs, namely by shareholders and commissioners," he said.
"Therefore, I have given up my short-term bonus for the year 2004."
The chief of public energy firm Essent, Michiel Boersma, last week bowed to shareholder pressure and agreed to forgo 50 percent of his EUR 161,000 bonus. He is donating one half to charity.
The shareholders of both Essent and Nuon — provincial governments and municipal councils — believe that the bonuses are inappropriate given the poor performances of both firms.
Administrative problems led to a large number of customer complaints last year.
In forgoing his 2004 bonus, the Nuon boss earned EUR 500,000 last year, including pension premiums, newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported.
A member of the Gelderland provincial government, Nico Jan Wijsman, is pleased with Van Halderen's decision.
"It is not only about the amount, but EUR 97,000 is substantial. Our message came across well with the board of directors and commissioners," he said.
In coming months, shareholders will discuss future bonuses with commissioners, including whether to link bonuses with target attainment, Wijsman said. Customer satisfaction might also weigh more heavily in salary packages.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news