Trouble-prone gold producer Newcrest Mining has joined the trend for lower executive pay, with chief executive Greg Robinson taking home a smaller remuneration package in the 2013 financial year.
Mr Robinson's total remuneration slipped from $3.69 million in fiscal 2012, to $2.73 million in fiscal 2013. A significant factor in the slide was the absence of short-term incentives, with Mr Robinson denied any short-term bonuses after a terrible year for the company.
Newcrest reported a net loss of $US5.77 billion for the 2013 financial year, after more than $US6 billion of asset write-downs and restructuring costs.
Newcrest's share price slumped from $23.50 to about $10 during fiscal 2013, as missed targets and a major slump in the gold price took a toll. The share price was also harmed by a market disclosure crisis in June, which is still being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Those problems ensured a lower remuneration package for Mr Robinson, and convinced the board it could not offer him a pay rise when the company conducts its remuneration review in October.
"Reflective of Newcrest's financial performance in the 2013 financial year, remuneration outcomes were considerably lower than in previous years," the company said on Monday.
Finance director Gerard Bond and other executives will get less than 8 per cent of their short-term incentives. Newcrest policy stipulates long-term incentives are calculated over a three-year period and vest in November each year.
The company reassured investors the vesting of long-term incentives this November would also be closely watched and would see discounted payments to executives.
Lower executive pay has been a theme at several big Australian miners, most notably at BHP Billiton where the board chose to deny executives 35 per cent of the long-term incentive payments they had technically earned.
The decision to reduce those payments was made because ordinary BHP shareholders had gone backwards in terms of total shareholder returns over the same period. BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie voluntarily reduced his package even further.
Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis has also been outspoken on executive pay, saying in July 2012 the business community must not lose touch with ordinary society.