Citigroup Inc. shareholders rejected its executive pay plan, a first among the six largest U.S. banks, amid criticism it lets Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit collect millions of dollars in rewards too easily.
About 45 percent of the votes favored the plan, which Citigroup had said will attract and retain top talent, according to a preliminary tally at the New York-based firm’s annual meeting in Dallas yesterday. While the vote isn’t binding, outgoing Chairman Richard Parsons said changes will be made.
“No, I don’t think it’s really about that,” he said in an interview as he walked through the Hilton Anatole hotel after the meeting. “We think that there was a breakdown in terms of communication in terms of how our shareholders understood it, looked at it.”
The vote also may affect payouts for other Citigroup executives. Chief Operating Officer John Havens received about $13 million for 2011, including a $5 million cash bonus. He oversees the securities and banking division, which posted a 24 percent slump in revenue last year.