Gold Fields CEO Holland’s Pay Drops 45% After Investor Backlash

Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI) Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland’s pay dropped 45 percent last year after investors criticized his 2012 award and the company’s share price fell almost two-thirds.

Holland was paid 24.9 million rand ($2.4 million) in salary, benefits and share awards in 2013, compared with 45.3 million rand the previous year, according to the Johannesburg-based gold producer’s annual report published on its website today. He declined to accept a cash bonus because of governance failings relating to the sale of a stake in its South Deep mine in South Africa in 2010, being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S.

Holland, promoted from finance director in 2008, became a lightning rod for executive largesse in South Africa last year after accepting a 39 percent pay increase in 2012 while his company’s stock declined 17 percent. The CEO was singled out by Old Mutual Plc fund manager Michael Schroder who accused executives, including Holland, of “personal greed” in a presentation in October.

“We’re always told there’s no money for the workers,” Livhuwani Mammburu, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers, said by phone. The union agreed a two-year wage increase with gold-mining companies following a strike in 2013, with pay rising 8 percent in the first 12 months. “Whether you’re earning 25 million rand or 45 million rand, it shows there’s plenty of money available for executives.”

Gold Fields paid senior managers and board members 207.3 million rand last year, compared with 212 million rand in 2012, it said in the annual report. The company spun off three of its South African mines, or about 40 percent of its production, in February 2012.

Gold Fields has “engaged shareholders and institutional investors and have taken their feedback on remuneration best practice into account in setting out the remuneration policy for 2014,” the company said in the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in Johannesburg at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net Ana Monteiro, Randall Hackley

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