Public relations: Huntsworth investors in Chadlington protest

Guardian (UK) |


Almost a third of investors have failed to back the re-election of Lord Chadlington as chief executive of public relations company Huntsworth. Investors also staged a rebellion against the pay package for Chadlington - president of David Cameron's Conservative constituency association - at the annual meeting yesterday. More than 30\% of investors expressed their disillusionment with Chadlington - who founded the Shandwick PR business 40 years ago - by abstaining from a vote for his election to the board while 20\% did the same to register their concerns about chief operating officer Sally Withey. There were smaller votes against their re-elections. On the two votes on pay, 23\% voted against the remuneration report which outlines last year's pay deals, while 32\% voted against the remuneration policy which sets out the pay deals for the next three years. The unrest takes place as the company, which owns the Citigate, Grayling, Huntsworth Health and Red agencies, appoints a new chairman - Lord Myners - to replace the former Goldman Sachs banker Richard Sharp. Myners recently stepped down from the board of the troubled Co-operative Group and has a reputation for corporate governance reform. He was chairman of Guardian Media Group until he joined the Labour government as City minister during the 2008 banking crisis. The annual report shows that Chadlington received pounds 1m last year and is entitled to an automatic pay rise in line with inflation. It has been reported that Sharp and another non-executive director, Joe McHale, did not stand for re-election to the board because of tensions with Chadlington. The largest shareholder in Huntsworth is Chinese investor BlueFocus, which has a 20\% stake. Jill Treanor

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