Shell halves boss’s pay after deaths at company

Shell halved its chief executive’s pay in 2019, a year when seven people died while working for the company and revenue contracted.

The oil giant said that Ben van Beurden was paid around £8.7 million in 2019, a 51% drop on the year before.

Mr van Beurden’s pay includes a base salary of just under 1.6 million euros (£1.4 million). However, his 800,000 euro (£700,000) bonus was nearly three quarters lower than in 2018.

He also scooped up 7.2 million euros (£6.4 million) in a long-term incentive plan, around half 2018’s levels.

Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell

Mr van Beurden has been in charge of the business since 2014, in which time he has overseen major changes at the FTSE 100-listed oil major.

He took over when oil was at the heady heights of more than 100 US dollars per barrel of Brent crude, the international standard.

However, Mr Beurden later got a taste of falling oil prices, as Brent hit less than 30 dollars just a year after he took over.

Oil prices are one of the major problems that lie more or less outside the power of the leaders of some of the world’s largest oil companies.

Although the price later recovered, Mr van Beurden and his peers at BP, Exxon and the other supermajors are now dealing with a rapidly plunging oil price.

The cost of a barrel of Brent hit as low as 32.51 dollars on Thursday afternoon, a drop of 9.9% amid a global financial panic.

Last year Mr van Beurden was named as one of employees’ 10 favourite chief executives, according to an anonymous survey by Glassdoor.

In 2018 the Dutchman took home a massive £18 million pay package – more than double the year before – as high oil prices boosted the business.

That year the business revealed its biggest profit for nearly half a decade.

Even so, Shell revealed that the package was discussed extensively inside the company.