Shell boss Ben van Beurden slammed for reaping more than £18m ahead of possible shareholder rebellion
Shell boss Ben van Beurden has been slammed for reaping more than £18million ahead of a possible shareholder rebellion this week.
Calculations by The Mail on Sunday show that the Dutch businessman – who has led Shell since 2014 – has seen the valuations of his shares and other payments soar. The amounts far exceed his official £6.1million pay package last year.
Rewards: Since the start of 2021, Ben van Beurden has seen the value of his shares rise by around £11.7million
Since the start of 2021, Van Beurden has seen the value of his shares rise by around £11.7million – and is set to pocket more than £800,000 from dividends, including the payout from the first quarter of 2022.
He has been criticised for benefiting from the cost-of-living crisis and for his resistance to demands for a one-off ‘windfall tax’ to help struggling households with bills.
Robert Palmer, executive director of Tax Justice UK, said it was ‘hard to justify these eye-watering amounts’ when there is a cost-of-living crisis. ‘It will be hard to stomach for ordinary people who are living through the biggest drop in their living standards since the Queen’s coronation,’ he added.
Howard Cox, of the FairFuelUK campaign, said: ‘What’s more sick ening to millions is that it’s not down to the incredible management skills of fatcat bosses, it’s down to lucky rises in the global price of oil.’
Investment adviser PIRC has urged Shell shareholders to vote against Van Beurden’s ‘excessive’ £6.1million 2021 pay packet at Tuesday’s annual meeting in London.
A Shell spokesman said: ‘We are of course acutely aware of the difficulties high energy prices bring.
‘It is painful for a lot of people and a company such as ours feels the obligation to help out – and we do so where we can, with hardship provisions, payment holidays and other measures to help our customers.
‘But the big contribution our company can make is to provide more and cleaner energy solutions, and bring new supply into the UK and, therefore, alleviate market conditions.’