CEO, CFO voluntarily take 20 percent reduction in share awards due to telco’s dismal share performance

Vodafone CEO Nick Read and CFO Margherita Della Valle have requested a 20 percent cut in their annual share award bonuses to reflect the poor performance of the telco’s share price.

Vodafone’s shares have fallen nearly 30 percent over the last 12 months, leading its market cap to decline to £35.4 billion from £52 billion.

Amid falling revenue, high spectrum fees, and the €18 billion acquisition of Liberty Global assets in Eastern Europe, Read in May was reluctantly forced to cut Vodafone’s dividend by 40 percent, despite earlier pledging not to. It is the first time Vodafone has ever reduced its payout.

Alongside the dividend reduction, Vodafone published full-year financial results showing a 6.2 percent fall in turnover and a €951 million operating loss.

Read and Della Valle’s bonus cut "was requested to reflect the low valuation of the share price following its reduction over the year," Vodafone said in a stock exchange announcement.

The reduction appears to be targeted at pre-empting a possible shareholder revolt over Vodafone’s executive remuneration.

Sky News reported that proxy advisor ISS has recommended that investors vote against the pay plan at the telco’s annual meeting later this month.

A separate report from the Guardian claimed that another advisory firm, Pirc has also told shareholders to vote against the proposed remuneration, while a third, Glass Lewis, has recommended a vote in favour of the payment plan.

Vodafone’s annual general meeting will take place on 23 July. Its next set of quarterly results is due to be published on 26 July.